Here are the highlights from Wahoo’s on First this week as we recover from the shock of the Michael Bourn signing:
Geordy took a look at an interesting side effect of the Bourn deal—its impact on the Tribe’s 2013 draft strategy:
But with the forfeit of Cleveland’s two picks for Swisher and Bourn, the Indians also lose the money that would have come along with those picks to spend in the draft. This puts the Indians in a bind financially as they have less money to spend. With both less money to spend and fewer picks to spend it on, the Tribe’s drafting strategy could be very different in 2013 from what it was in 2012.
In this week’s Wroundtable, we all kvelled about the Bourn signing:
Brian Heise: Love, love, love the Bourn signing. With it the Tribe got a legitimate leadoff hitter and the rest of the outfield and starting lineup falls naturally into place. An outfield of Michael Brantley, Bourn, and Drew Stubbs might catch every fly ball that comes their way. Sure you can argue all you want about his age and the length of his contract, but why worry about it now? Four years from now it could be a problem but today this is pure value.
Lewie also wrote a more thorough opinion:
Which brings us to perhaps the most exciting part of the Bourn signing: the timing. Bourn is now locked up through 2016, possibly through 2017. Nick Swisher’s contract is the same length. Michael Brantley, Vinnie Pestano, and Carlos Carrasco‘s arbitration years will also take them through 2016. Carlos Santana is under team control through 2017, along with Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Zach McAllister. In other words, the core of this team will be together for at least four-to-five years—and by the end of that span they’ll hopefully be joined by guys like Trevor Bauer, Francisco Lindor, Dorssys Paulino, Mitch Brown, and Tyler Naquin. This is a sign that the Indians plan to compete for the better part of the next decade. “Window of opportunity”? More like a portico.
While Jeff offered a more skeptical view:
Second, four years for a player who relies on his legs is a long time. Hopefully the Indians did not include a no-trade clause. Bourn is 30 and has no power; if he gets to the point where he is not a capable center fielder or leadoff hitter, there is no other way for the Indians to recoup the value of this contract other than to trade him. Since this deal is backloaded, it means that when Bourn and Swisher are at the end of their deals they could be a larger drain on the payroll than Travis Hafner ever was.
And Brian recapped the fan reaction:
So what exactly are fans of the Indians and rival teams, as well as the media, saying about the signing? Something of this magnitude was sure to get people talking. Curious, I took to the Twitterverse to find out.
In signing Giambi and Matsuzaka, the Indians got a crafty starting pitcher with plausible top-of-the-rotation potential and a generational great hitter (seriously, look at his numbers from 2001) who can still put a charge into the ball without having to make any roster spot or monetary commitments they might later regret. Maybe it’s not something for nothing, but it’s the very real potential of something for nothing. And you can’t lose when you make moves like that.
Brian kicked off his Fantasy Forecast series with a look at Asdrubal Cabrera:
The Cabrera conundrum becomes even more intriguing in an auction format draft. As of now, Cabrera’s dollar value falls somewhere in the teen range and averages out around $14. Again however, in deeper leagues where offensive options at shortstop can be snatched up quickly, it’s conceivable that Cabrera’s dollar value could settle in the mid-to-upper $20 range in some drafts.
The added benefit for drafting Carlos Santana is the assurance that he can be plugged into your lineup on an almost daily basis. Whereas other catchers routinely receive full days off throughout the season, Santana’s days off will more than likely occur at either first base or DH. This also provides an added level of flexibility in order to ensure you are playing an optimal lineup on a daily basis. For anyone that has struggled to fill a roster spot last minute due to either injury or a day off, you understand how valuable flexibility truly is.
Katrina made the case for guaranteeing Zach McAllister a rotation spot rather than making him fight for it:
The Indians didn’t make a lot of bold roster moves involving the rotation this winter. That means they have likely decided to put their faith in Masterson and Jimenez again, who last season earned a 79 and a 72 ERA+, respectively. It doesn’t make much sense that McAllister would be the one who needs to worry about job security, when he clearly pitched substantially better than his teammates did last year. He is a fundamentally strong pitcher and can only improve from here. His place with the team should never have been a question in the first place.
Finally, don’t forget to vote in our top prospects crowdsourcing poll!