Several former and current members of the Cleveland Indians organization made some news over the last few days. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the minor moves and notes you may have missed.
The Cleveland Indians entered the 2013 season with an alarming lack of apparent ability in the starting rotation. With the turnaround of Ubaldo Jimenez, the comeback of Scott Kazmir, and the emergence of Cory Kluber, the starting rotation became a source of strength for the Indians. Kazmir moved on to the Oakland Athletics and Jimenez seems destine to sign with another team as well. With the loss of two key players, the big question is whether or not the Indians can repeat their playoff season.
In order to look at where the Indians could be in 2014, we must look at what they have lost and gained in this current off season. In addition to this, we have to look at the loss and gain of the other teams in the American League Central. Using a statistic known as Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, we can project how many wins each player is, or could be worth. If we add up the cumulative WAR of the players the Indians lost, and the WAR of the new additions to the team, we can project how many wins the Indians lost or gained with through free agency and trades this winter.
The Indians have had a relatively quiet offseason so far, but as the Winter Meetings officially begin this morning in Orlando, Fla., things could change. Certainly over the next four days, every team will be linked to rumors and possible upgrades to their roster.
The Indians will be no different. With Cleveland already committing about $77 million to the 2014 payroll, the Indians can take on some payroll, but might not have the space to make a big signing and still find the smaller, necessary parts to fill out the roster. Cleveland currently needs help in the starting rotation and bullpen. It’s possible a trade from the big league roster could bring back talent and clear some salary space for additional free agent signings to round out the 2014 roster.
Last Wednesday the Cleveland Indians signed outfielder David Murphy to a two year, $10 million contract with a team option for 2016 and most of Major League Baseball applauded. Could it lead to a much bigger reaction later this winter?
Murphy had a disappointing season in 2013 with the Texas Rangers, hitting just .220 with 13 home runs and 45 runs batted in. But in an offseason where the likes of 36-year old Marlon Byrd can cash in a two year, $16 million deal, picking up Murphy—who is four years younger—looks to be a steal for Cleveland. Since he’s a career .275 hitter, a rebound season in 2014 will give the Indians a good offensive piece at a great economical value.
For the second time in a week, a trade was made around Major League Baseball that had an effect on the Cleveland Indians’ offseason.
On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels agree upon a trade centered around third baseman David Freese and outfielder Peter Bourjos. On Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers completed a swap of former All-Stars Prince Fielder, Ian Kinsler, and bags and bags of cash.
The early wave of trade activity may be an indication of things to come over the remaining few months of baseball’s time off.
The Indians are officially entering the off-season today. The World Series is over. It’s expected Ubaldo Jimenez will turn down their qualifying offer and General Manager Chris Antonetti and Manager Terry Francona will embark on trying to construct a 2014 Cleveland Indians with the expectation to win now, but opportunity to win in the future also.
It’s not real easy when you don’t have an infinite budget and your minor league system is still in the bottom third of Major League organizations.
Thus, the Indians have relied heavily on trades. It hasn’t been their only means of improving the team, but since they are never favorites on the free agent market, trades are a viable necessity for Cleveland.
After a surprising 2013 Cleveland Indians season the organization has higher expectations for 2014 than any season dating back to 2008. The Indians and their fans will expect a playoff team and World Series contender. For the month of October, we’ll look at the how the Indians became a contender, but most importantly, How Do the Indians Reach the Next Level?
On December 11, 2012 the Indians acquired Drew Stubbs in a three team exchange that also netted the Tribe top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer, and relievers Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers. At the time it seemed as though Stubbs was just filler in the trade, someone the added just to get the deal completed, but fans hoped his defense and his speed would lead to good season. While his numbers were not all that pretty, he was a big part of playoff team in Cleveland. Stubbs is now eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career, and the Indians have a decision to make.
MLB arbitration can be confusing on the surface, but it is really very simple. Basically, a player is not able to become a free agent until he has six years of service time. Arbitration prevents a team from paying league minimum to a young, high performance player. Once a player reaches a minimum of three years of service time, he is eligible for a salary raise. A team can either tender a contract to their player and agree on a deal, or the two sides cannot agree and the case goes to an arbiter. The arbiter hears the team present their case and their salary offer, then listens to the players case and his counter. He then decides which of the two salaries’ to award the player. Looking at Stubbs, his case seems to be fairly straight forward.
After a surprising 2013 Cleveland Indians season the organization has higher expectations for 2014 than any season dating back to 2008. The Indians and their fans will expect a playoff team and World Series contender. For the month of October, …
The Indians scored a dozen runs to beat the Minnesota Twins 12-6 and to change their magic number to two games to clinch the playoffs.
The Indians came into Friday night looking for their eighth win in a row and to keep control of their playoff destiny. Pedro Hernandez (3-2) would take the hill for the Twins coming into the game with a 6.05 ERA. The Indians would send Corey Kluber to the mound for the Indians.
A strong but short start from Danny Salazar and the work of seven different relievers helped to make Cleveland’s three runs stand, as the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox by a 3-1 final on a rare Friday afternoon start.
The Indians bullpen picked up the slack of the abbreviated Salazar start, who was limited by the same strict pitch count that has shortened his outings throughout the second half.
With Friday’s tenth straight win against the White Sox, the Indians move into a tie with the New York Yankees in the pursuit of an American League Wild Card birth. Both Cleveland and New York are one game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second spot, with the Yankees and Rays both playing later in the day on Friday.
The Cleveland Indians need to go on a run to play their way into the wild card game. Tonight’s 8-1 victory may have been part of the catalyst to that necessary run.
Scott Kazmir gave the Indians six shutout innings and struck out 12 to help the Tribe past the New York Mets on Friday night. Cleveland used Kazmir’s performance and a late grand slam by Nick Swisher in the eighth inning to blow the game open and help the Tribe remain in the playoff race.
It has been a little over a year since former Indians manager Manny Acta uttered what was probably his most famous quote.
After the Indians dropped an 8-4 road game to the Los Angeles Angels, they were 54-64. It was August 15, 2012, and the team was in the middle of a horrendous month that saw it go from playoff contender to also-ran.
Acta was asked about his team’s needs. The manager, perhaps annoyed with the losses piling up and seeing his job in jeopardy, basically took a shot at Cleveland’s management and the way the team was built.