Happy Veterans Day from Wahoo’s on First! Here’s a recap of this week’s highlights as the weekend comes to a close.
Because Cabrera is such a highly regarded player, he could be a valuable trading chip in the Tribe’s quest to find starting pitchers. With such a poor free agent class this year, a good shortstop is hard to come by, and teams might be willing to offer a little more for him since there are so few options available.
On the other hand, Evan made the case for why the Indians shouldn’t trade Cabrera:
Simply put, Aviles cannot replace Cabrera in 2013, or any other year for that matter. Cabrera is certainly capable of bringing back several valuable pieces in a trade, but is that worth giving up Cabrera and his team-friendly two-year, $16.5 million deal? As Cabrera reaches his prime, age-27 season in 2013, should Cleveland fans be enthusiastic about their star potentially being replaced by a stopgap journeyman who turns 32 years old in March?
In terms of pure player value getting Aviles and Gomes for a relief pitcher was a shrewd deal. Moreover, Avila could give Cleveland the flexibility to trade Asdrubal Cabrera, or the Tribe could flip him again for a first baseman or a left fielder or a starting pitcher. But if trading Rogers for Aviles and Gomes is Chris Antonetti’s end game, I’m not sure how the Indians are better for it.
Jeff expressed his doubts about the deal:
You have only so many chips to play in any offseason. The best-case scenario is that the Indians spend $10-15 million on free agents, basically replacing Travis Hafner’s salary. That will get them either one very good player or two pretty good players. Any other chip you trade, such as Shin-Soo Choo, is either going to be for equal value or for future prospects, which means it won’t improve the team in 2013. The bullpen was the one place where they could move someone without hurting the team, and if this trade is what they get, it’s not going to be enough.
In this week’s Wroundtable, we debated the Aviles trade:
Jeff Mount: The biggest problem with this trade is that it takes our biggest surplus and gets us a guy with an OPS under .700. Now we can’t trade Perez without counting on someone like Nick Hagadone in the eighth inning, and we all know how risk-averse the Indians are about their bullpen, so this probably means they will keep Perez and not have enough chips to make a trade that really makes them better. Nothing against Aviles, but this follows in the proud tradition of Jason Michaels and David Delluci, role players that the Indians try and fail to turn into something more.
Steve argued that the Indians’ future is brighter than most fans think:
Why in the world would Terry Francona agree to take over a team with a poor pitching staff, a featherweight offense, no five-star prospects in the upper levels of the minor leagues, an apathetic fanbase, and an ownership group that will be looking to trim payroll for the 2013 season? The answer to that question lies in viewing the positives in equal light as the negatives. If we can do that, the 2013 season doesn’t seem nearly as bleak as it did when the team walked off the field for the final time after a 9-0 loss to the White Sox in Game No. 162.
Grady Sizemore, for two or three years, might have been the best player in the game. Nobody played better defense, he tickled 40/40 time and again, and man was he just a blast to watch. The old “He plays 100%, all the time” was beat to death around Grady, but it’s never been more true. Even after his harsh fall, his per-162 numbers (which he’d play if allowed) are pretty beastly.
It still isn’t clear exactly what the front office has in mind for the Tribe’s 2013 season, but for a low-base-salary contract or a minor-league deal (it’s unlikely that he’d settle for that, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility) Bay would almost certainly be worth Cleveland’s while. Don’t be surprised to hear his name connected to the Indians in the weeks to come.
Finally, Brian offered some offseason vacation ideas for Indians players and executives:
Mark Shapiro: Disney World. It’s been well documented that Shapiro is an avid Star Wars fan. In fact, he was even spotted at a Cleveland Orchestra performance of Star Wars music at Gund Arena sometime last year, much to his chagrin. Well, with Disney’s recent purchase of the Lucasfilms and theStar Wars franchise, this is the perfect time for Shapiro to take the entire family down to Disney World! I can see it now: Mark dressed up as Han Solo with his wife as Princess Leia and the kids as Ewoks. Oh, the memories that could be had. Plus, it’s warm down there so could you really blame him?