Tigers’ Big Move Could Force Tribe’s Hand
By Matthew Van Wormer
When Victor Martinez went down for the entire 2012 season last week due to a torn ACL, Indians fans breathed a sigh of relief. They weren’t happy that one of their former favorites was hurt but they were sure glad that the bat of Martinez wouldn’t be tormenting the Indians again this coming year.
Bad for the Tigers, good for the Indians. Then, today the Tigers sign the big bat, and belly, of Prince Fielder to a 9-year, $214 million dollar deal so he can play in the same city that his father pounded baseballs years ago.
Good for the Tigers, bad for the Indians. Or is it? The Tigers signing of the most coveted free agent left on the market could force the Indians front office to pony up and make a move when it comes to acquiring someone like Casey Kotchman or Carlos Lee to man the first base spot in the infield. El Caballo could be a great bat to add to a lineup that is hoping to see rebound seasons from key players (Shin-Soo Choo, Grady Sizemore) as well as the continued development and rebirth of others (Asdrubal Cabrera as the former, Travis Hafner as the latter).
Whatever happens, it is clear that the Indians have to do something. Teams all around them are making the necessary moves to get better in 2012 while the Indians have not added much to the pot except for transforming 28 year old Fausto Carmona, into 31 year old Robert Hernandez Heredia.
Yes, the Indians have made a few moves which they think will improve the team that fought for three-fourths of the 2011 season. But they haven’t done anything that has fans buying tickets by the bundle. If the Indians want to really show the fans that they are “all in,” the time to do so is now. There is no evidence to show that Matt LaPorta v.2012 will be any different from Matt LaPorta v.2011. A move needs to be made and maybe the Tigers have pushed the Tribe towards a decision that will hopefully be…
Good for the Tribe, bad for the Tigers.
Photo: Getty Images