I know my posts have been few and far between recently. Like the major leagues, I have taken some time to collect myself. Here are some thoughts:
Winter Meetings - What are we doing?
Again, I am scratching my head. We hire Terry Francona whose major assets are having managed Boston to championships and, as a result, having enough credibility to recruit good players (i.e., free agents) to want to come here. You don't hire championship caliber managers to lead a rebuilding program, right?
So, what the heck are we doing? I don't think we are flying under the radar with free agents. We are still picking guys off the waiver wire (McDade and Woods). We haven't made any moves that would say we are 'going for it'. So what the heck are we doing?
So now the rumor is we are going to make trades. We all realize, don't we, that this is simple addition/subtraction. You start with a 68-94 team and you subtract AstroCab, Choo and CPerez. Those are huge losses. You have to assume, at best, you get back equal ML ready talent that is probably cheaper. So now you are at 68-94 with a smaller payroll and maybe a little longer opening for your 'window'. Yeah, in a perfect world if Detroit crumbled, everyone else in the division stunk it up, all of our guys had career years and Aviles and Pestano played up and if we could get someone to replace Choo and Pestano's setup role, we could compete.
Or, more likely, we are moving towards a deep rebuild. But then why Francona? Wouldn't you have expected that we give that job to Sandy Alomar Jr.? Do we really think Francona came here to be a nursemaid to a young team? Hey, against the odds maybe Francona did. Otherwise, you pick Alomar Jr., right? Still, a deep rebuild IS the best way to go. Actually the Toronto-Marlins trade HELPS the Indians in a rebuild situation. While the value of the players Toronto got was much more than what the Marlins got, it make it a seller's market for teams dealing with the AL East. You gotta answer quickly in this division or you are going to be in 4th place before you know it. So maybe we have partners there who will give us a low A/high A/AA bounty for our three studs and maybe Masterson.
So, color me confused. I just hope we aren't trying to do a rebuild and compete at the same time thing again. Remember how that turned out last time. I mean, all you have to do is say 'Matt Lawton' and I break out in a cold sweat. So, let's hope we are not that stupid again but that is one of the few things that make sense at this point.
Rule 5 Predictions - Who will we lose?
Major League Phase
We lose Hector Rondon, probably on the first pick to Houston
50% we lose Austin Adams, Chun Chen
25% we lose Rob Bryson, TJ McFarland, Bryce Stowell, Giovanny Urshela, Matt Langwell, Roberto Perez
We lose Delvi Cid
50% chance we lose Kyle Bellows, Adam Abraham, Francisco Valera, Francisco Jimenez, Jordan Henry, Bo Greenwell
Do we pick anyone up? Well, we might. But I doubt it. Going to arbitration with Wood and adding McDade to the roster tells me that the Rule 5 is not how we will be bottom feeding this year. Plus, the few times we have tried we haven't had much luck so I don't think we pick up anyone in the ML phase and probably pick up 1-2 guys no one has ever heard of the minor league phase, especially if we lose Roberto Perez in the ML phase.
That's it for now.