The Cleveland Indians have traded outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in part of a three-team deal with the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Indians dealt Choo and infielder Jason Donald to Cincinnati for Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs and Diamondbacks starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and right-handed relief pitchers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw. The Indians sent Didi Gregorius from the Reds, plus left-handed relief pitcher Tony Sipp, minor league first baseman Lars Anderson and cash considerations to the Diamondbacks
Choo, a right fielder with the Indians, is expected to become the Reds center fielder. Cincinnati hopes to recuperate what they will lose in Choo’s defense with his increased offense. Choo rebounded from an injury-riddled 2011 to hit .283, with 16 home runs and 67 runs batted in during 2012, primarily in the Tribe’s leadoff spot. It is expected that Cincinnati will insert him into the top of their order to hit in front of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce.
First base has long been a place of woe for the Cleveland Indians. From Casey Kotchman to Matt LaPorta, Shelley Duncan and Andy Marte, the last three years have produced abysmal offense from an offensive-driven position. This off season the Cleveland Indians sought to remedy those struggles, most notably their pursuit of free agent Kevin Youkilis.
Sunday the Tribe took a left turn by signing 29-year old first baseman Mark Reynolds to a one-year, $6 million deal. Several questions may linger in the minds of Indians fans. What contribution can Reynolds make in 2012? What does this mean for Youkilis? Did the Indians make the right choice?
Reynolds spent the majority of 2012 manning first base for the Baltimore Orioles. He has put up some seesaw numbers in his career and things have been no different since joining Baltimore in 2011. He hit 60 home runs over the last two seasons, averaging 34 home runs per 162 games. He also averaged 87 RBI, 86 runs scored, and 83 walks per 162 games during that same span. To go with that is an above average .328 on-base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage. The other side of that three year seesaw is his poor .221 average, and his massive number of strikeouts, 355 in 290 games. The real question is what can those numbers tell us, and what can he bring to the Indians lineup in 2013?
The Cleveland Indians have signed Mark Reynolds to a one year contract, valued at $6 million according to Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com. The free-swinging, right-handed bat will most likely fill the first base void with the Indians. The Tribe had been previously …
By Bob Toth
The baseball season is a grueling one.
A total of 162 games are played over a six-month span. Teams travel all across the country, staying in one road city no more than four games at a time, and rarely at home for any stretch above nine games.
Winning streaks and losing streaks are inevitabilities of the season. Slumps and injuries factor into both.
But all of it is for naught if your team is not sitting in first place on the last day of the season.
The Cleveland Indians have fooled fans many times in their pursuit of free agents, often chasing a player to the final negotiation, only to lose out to another team. It happened again on Tuesday when Cleveland lost out on Shane Victorino when the Boston Red Sox inked the outfielder to a three-year, $39 million deal.
Maybe the Indians are about to fool fans again, in another way.
Cleveland currently has a contract offer on the table to both Kevin Youkilis and Nick Swisher. The Tribe offered Youkilis a two-year, $18 million contract, and Swisher a four-year, $48 million deal. Youkilis is weighing the Indians’ offer against a one-year, $12 million deal from the New York Yankees. Considering Youkilis is from Cincinnati — his family often visits Progressive Field when Youkilis comes to town — and Swisher was born in Ohio, raised in West Virginia and was an Ohio State Buckeye, there are reasons for each to take the money and join Manager Terry Francona in a unique opportunity to be a part of an Indian revival.
If the Indians acquired every player they’ve inquired about at this week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, they’d have a new 25-man roster to field. However, the actual players they’ve acquired would leave Progressive Field as empty as an early December day.
The rumors involving the Indians have become so many, it leaves questions about the direction the team is moving, or even if the team has a direction.
Wednesday’s rumors surrounding the Tribe had them heavily linked to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade that could also involve the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. The Diamondbacks seem rather determined to trade for Asdrubal Cabrera and are willing to give up a young starting pitcher, but the Indians want two, young arms for their shortstop. Arizona seems reluctant to meet the Indians’ terms and thus the trade has grown to involve several teams at times with players like Justin Upton and James Shields involved and some of the Rangers top prospects, including Mike Olt.
Yesterday morning Shane Victorino tweeted from a beach in Hawaii with new teammate Clay Buchholz while celebrating his new three year, $39 million contract with the Boston Red Sox. Victorino elected to take the Red Sox three year offer instead of the Cleveland Indians offer of a reported four year, $44 million deal as reported by Ken Rosenthal.
We should all be so lucky to be rewarded this way after our worst year of our careers.
While it isn’t uncommon for the Indians to finish second in their pursuit of a free agent, the Tribe did find themselves in some uncommon ground yesterday while pursuing Victorino to the final decision.
The first day of the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee did not produce any movement for the Cleveland Indians, but it created a lot of rumors and speculation. With rumors and speculation comes everyone’s opinion about the moves potentially at the Indians’ doorstep.
The biggest rumor—and the one having the largest impact upon the team—is the report from the Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes that the Indians are actively shopping Asdrubal Cabrera, but looking for a large package of Major League ready players in return. Hoynes reported that an unnamed team was ready to offer a Major League starting pitcher and two high-level prospects, but the deal fell through when the Indians asked for a third prospect.
“He’s the best guy out there at that position,” said a scout in Hoynes’ story. “They’re going to get something good for him, but they’re asking for a lot.”
By Bob Toth
If you are a fan of the Cleveland Indians, chances are you have vivid memories of Kenny Lofton mesmerizing fans and players alike with his incredible speed.
When the ball was hit anywhere in the general direction of Lofton, a part of you believed he would find a way to track it down, whether it was at a full sprint, flying through the air, or scaling the outfield walls. At the plate, if he put the ball on the ground in the infield, there was a fair chance he could beat it out to first base. Once he reached base, he would electrify his teammates and the fans by moving himself quickly into scoring position with a stolen base, setting the table for easy RBI opportunities for the lucky batters hitting behind him in the lineup.
Lofton was a special kind of player, and for that and his longevity in the league, he was honored this week by being named as a candidate on the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
By Mike Brandyberry
Did I miss something? Did the Indians let another great player walk out the door? I thought it was just Jack Hannahan?
Friday the Indians non-tendered third baseman Jack Hannahan, and left-handed pitchers Rafael Perez …
Cleveland Indians fans have watched many superstars walk away in free agency or get traded just before the end of their contract. Each time, the explanation from management is the same and usually involves something along the lines of being a smaller market team that cannot afford to spend in the same bracket as the New Yorks, Bostons and Los Angeles’ of the world.
On Monday, a jaded Tribe fan base received a reminder of how wrong that thought actually is. The Tampa Bay Rays, the lone team in Major League Baseball with a worse 2012 attendance than the Indians, ponied up in a big way to make sure Evan Longoria would never leave for the riches of the big cities. Tampa and Longoria agreed to a 10-year, $136.6 million deal, with a $13 million club option for 2023.
Recently, Pat McManamon of FOXSportsOhio.com had a conversation with Cleveland Indians’ team president Mark Shapiro, who talked about his challenges and interests in baseball, the recent history of the team, and his vision moving forward. Following will be a series of opinions and insight about Shapiro’s responses and how they apply to where the team was, how the team got to where it is now, and most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here.
By Bob Toth
Nobody enjoys losing.
When a team like the Cleveland Indians has squandered multiple opportunities in a several year span, it is difficult to not question the integrity of the system in place and the intentions and motivation of the team, its front office, and ownership.
Indians’ team president Mark Shapiro understands that with mounting losses comes room for plenty of criticism.