Last week, 16 Cleveland Indians writers representing six different publications participated in a multi-part preseason survey in which we made predictions and offered our opinions about the 2013 Tribe. We’ll be releasing part of the results each day this week as we count down the days until the start of the season—continuing today with our thoughts on the moves the Indians made (and didn’t make) this winter.
First question: What was the best move the Indians made this winter?
The Indians spent $117 million on the free agent market this winter, but a supermajority of our respondents don’t think the Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn signings were the highlight of the offseason; rather, hiring Terry Francona and trading Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Donald, Lars Anderson and Tony Sipp for Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers, and Bryan Shaw stole the show. For what it’s worth, both moves were unanimously received with great enthusiasm here on Wahoo’s on First.
Thinking more pessimistically, what was the worst move of the offseason?
The Brett Myers deal is the runaway loser. Still, if overpaying for a free agent pitcher is the worst move you make in an offseason, you’re in pretty good shape.
Next, the one that got away—what rumored potential move was Cleveland smartest not to follow through on?
On the other side of the coin, what possible deal will the Indians most regret not making?
There’s no clear consensus here, but a plurality of our voters wished the Tribe’s aggressive offseason spending had had a larger effect on the rotation. Also interesting is that the team’s holding onto both Cabrera and Chris Perez were named in both categories.
Finally, we asked our voters: Which low-profile acquisition will have the biggest impact on the Tribe?
If nothing else, it’s really incredible that over half of our voters picked a minor-league signing (Scott Kazmir and Jason Giambi). Kudos to the front office for bringing in some legitimate talent under the radar.
Survey participants: Ed Carroll from Cleveland.com; Steve Eby and Vince Guerrieri from Did the Tribe Win Last Night?; Kevin Dean and Andrew Zajac from Indians Baseball Insider; Nino Colla from The Tribe Daily; TD from WaitingForNextYear; and Geordy Boveroux, Brian Heise, Nick Houghtaling, Steve Kinsella, Jeff Mount, Lewie Pollis, Katrina Putnam, Merritt Rohlfing, and Evan Vogel from Wahoo’s on First.