I would be happy to be a Cleveland fan this offseason. I actually think they had the best offseason in the division, if not the AL.
Some of the major additions:
- Terry Francona
- Nick Swisher
- Trevor Bauer
- Mark Reynolds
- Drew Stubbs
- Brett Myers
And even these guys are in Cleveland with minor-league deals and ST invites:
- Jason Giambi
- Daisuke Matsuzaka
- Matt Capps
- Scott Kazmir
- Giovanni Soto
- Ryan Raburn
- Jeremy Hermida
- Ben Francisco
Sure, a lot of those guys aren't going to pan out, but they are all very low-risk, high-reward types of signings. I am one who favors stockpiling a lot of these types who have had succes in the past. Who knows, they could be steals. And if not, the loss is minimal.
Sure the Twins have grabbed a handful of guys like Harden and Clement, but not too many familiar names. I wish the Twins would have gone in a similar direction, although I understand the situations are very different as the Twins by most metrics have a much stronger farm system than the Indians... You don't want a bunch of has-beens block the way for younger guys getting playing time. But given Cleveland's situation, I like what Antonetti did.
The Indians were a mess and they're still a mess in my opinion. Bauer will help their pitching but Myers isn't very good, neither is Dice-K. Kazmir's velocity is still in the tank, last I heard. I guess maybe one or two of these has beens could discover new success in relief. But unless they bring an entire class of young pitchers north, they will be at the bottom of the league again in pitching.
They picked up some RHBs to balance the lineup but if they play Reynolds and Stubbs everyday you can pencil them in for 400 strikeouts right now. Not to mention the defensive hazard that is Mark REynolds will cancel out any benefit from Stubbs. Swisher for Choo is about a wash. Who's in left? Infield looks supremely lousy aside from Kipnis and Santana, unless I'm forgetting someone.
Lots of upside and very little risk on that list.
*mopes off, irritated that he's a Twins fan*
Other than Francona, Bauer and maybe Kazmir (if he pans out), I don't think that signing a bunch of players in the declining stages of their career is a good thing. Including Swisher. I cannot stand the guy since his White Sux years and he is starting his decline. Practically the Yankees and the Indians swapped Hafner for Swisher and I think that the Yankees are probably ahead in this factoring in the cost. Miami added a bunch of players like that. Did they have a good off-season?
I see 2013 Indians being somewhat similar to the 2012 White Sox.
The Whities had grown tired of Ozzie's act, so I think their attitude changed when Ventura came in, and it showed on the field. I don't get the sense that the Indians even respected Acta, much less liked him. So they'll respond positively to Francona. And like the Whities last year, some new talent and some guys returning to form should get them some better results.
And they might be able to hang in the race for a weak division for a while by beating up on bottom feeders. But ultimately, the fact that they just aren't a very good baseball team will catch up with them, just as it did for the Whities last year.
(And while that's not exactly a season to brag about, it's a lot better than I'm expecting for the Twins, sadly.)
You had me until I saw the Capps listing as an invite.
The Indians are just like the Twins... They need pitching and they need it bad. Like the Twins... They had no depth in the starting rotation last year and were forced to trot out guys who were struggling... Bauer, Myers, Dice K and Kazmir may provide some rotation depth and like the Twins... With just average pitching instead of terrible pitching. They could surprise a few of us.
Now they just signed Bourn. Very interesting offseason. I still think they end up third in the division.
Bourne goes for 4/48 and vesting option for $12m in '17. Interesting that a team in need of pitching like Cleveland would pump $27m a year for the next four years for Swisher and Bourne. I don't especially like that plan.
Nor do I. Getting Bauer is seemingly awesome, but clearly AZ soured on him...
Originally Posted by drjim
---Yeah that is a bit of a head-scratcher. Bourn is a nice player who will help them, but he doesn't address their biggest need.
Originally Posted by drjim