Indians: Continuing to Temper Expectations

Let’s face it: Off-seasons are only exciting if your team of rooting interest makes moves.  The Browns?  We loved it when the team managed to acquire players like Corey Williams and Shaun Rogers.  The Cavaliers?  Mo Williams, come on down.  But all of the moving and shaking seems to stall out when it comes to the Indians and their off-seasons.

Sure, Mark Shapiro and company made several key moves for the future this year when the ship began to sink.  But what about the months of November through March?  Last winter was pretty uneventful.  And while Craig did his best to tell us that we shouldn’t expect much to happen, some of us (hello!) still hold out hope for the big splash.  And then I see things like this.

The Indians have had some discussions with Baltimore about second baseman Brian Roberts and keep running into the same roadblock — the Orioles want Asdrubal Cabrera as a starting point of any package.

I’m going to be honest when I say that I really wanted Brian Roberts to be wearing an Indians jersey next season.  Perhaps it is because the guy has been my second baseman for years in fantasy baseball, or just because I constantly see his talent being wasted away in Baltimore.  Regardless, I think he’s the perfect addition to a team in dire need of a second baseman that can make an impact in the field as well as at the plate. 

But as much as I’m willing to do (almost) whatever it takes to acquire the guy, even I’m willing to admit that trading Asdrubal Cabrera would totally defeat the purpose.  This is one of those crazy situations where the other team also wants a player of quality in return if they’re going to trade away one of their key players.  Silly, I know.  And until Baltimore considers guys like Trevor Crowe or Ben Francisco a “player of quality,” it’s looking less and less like a trade to Cleveland will happen any time soon.

In fact, unless names like Mark Teahen are considered to be a “splash,” you may just want to tune out all Tribe news until March rolls around.  Previous thoughts of eying up closer Brian Fuentes are fleeting.  Francisco Rodriguez wants Dr. Evil money, and Jake Peavy apparently listed his possible suitors: Chicago and Los Angeles.  Not to burst bubbles, but Cleveland is neither of those two.  And after looking at this list, it appears that we’re also not New York either.

So, with Brian Roberts requiring too much in the trade market, and Orlando Hudson requiring too much in the paycheck market, Terry guesses that the majority of the Indians’ off-season money will go towards a starting pitcher.  And with Peavy out of the loop (as well as CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and every other dual-letter first name pitcher out there), we could be looking at someone like John Garland as our “big” move of the off-season.

I know, I know.  This is all more of the same that we’ve been discussing over the last month or so.  But with winter meetings about to roll, Indians fans should brace themselves for plenty of headlines regarding who’s going to New York, Los Angles and Chicago while we attempt to spin deals for middle-range guys that hopefully overachieve a la Kevin Millwood. 

Now excuse me while I now begin to hold out hope for Dan Uggla…

  • LaundroMat

    Frankly, I don’t think it too crazy to include Asdrubal in a deal for Brian Roberts. Asdrubal’s offense is iffy, and while is defense is quite good, the offensive improvement we’d get would make up for the difference…or so I think.

  • The Bambino

    Waht!? Asdrubal was a roadblock? I’d trade three Asdrubal’s for Brain Roberts!!!

    You can pencil in Roberts for .280+, 30 steals, and 150 hits. Will Asbrubal EVER reach those kind of numbers?

  • The Bambino

    it’s like I keep telling the guys in my fantasy league. IF YOU WANT SOMETHING GOOD, YOU MUST GIVE UP SOMETHING EQUALLY GOOD.

  • Swig

    “Indians fans should brace themselves for plenty of headlines regarding who’s going to New York, Los Angles and Chicago while we attempt to spin deals for middle-range guys that hopefully overachieve a la Kevin Millwood.”

    This is why I don’t really follow baseball.

    Although I’m planning on getting a 20 game season package to the clippers so maybe I’ll come back around.

  • Lyon

    For those who would trade Cabrera, why give up his solid D plus probably another good young pitcher for a guy who will be gone after this year? He has 1 more year left on his contract, then he’ll be like every other FA to leave Cleveland. Then we would’ve given up young guys for 1 year.

    If we can get Roberts without giving up the future go for it. But I don’t think Roberts puts this team over the top next year, so don’t ruin future years for it.

  • Mike

    Agree w/Lyon. No way you trade a 23 yr old Cabrera for a guy you’re most likely renting for a single year.

  • Eric Wedge

    We just need to stay the course, take one game at a time. It’s a marathon not a race- and once we get Casey Blake back we look to contented in 2009 like we do every year

  • Eric Wedge

    Also, Scott Elarton should be back to fill out our rotation. He is a gritty guy that can suck up some innings and take one game at a time.

  • Jeff

    Look I would love to have those big name guys, but the Rays proved you don’t need them to contend and win. We don’t have to spend a bunch of money. We just need to build smart.

  • The Bambino

    Because if we keep playing for next year, I’m going to be in my GD grave before the Indians win the World Series. Play for NOW. Worry about next year later.

  • The Bambino

    And the Rays were the exception, not the rule. Look at the other teams that made the playoffs this year.

  • Craig

    I agree with the Bambino partly. The Indians should play for this year. In order to play for this year, I am not willing to part with Asdrubal Cabrera. He is only 23 and has shown an ability to make adjustments.

    That being said, pretty much everybody else is available from the young player category. We have young pitchers and outfielders that are all kind of close to getting their shot. If that isn’t good enough to get what could be a one year rental of Brian Roberts, then it isn’t meant to be.

    The Brian Roberts deal only makes sense to me if you fill two holes with one player. The only way to fill both those holes is to keep Asdrubal Cabrera for Short and moving Peralta to third. If Cabrera ends up being a part of the deal we end up with Jamey Carroll as our starting third baseman.

    I wonder if they would take Garko? :-)

  • JPOC

    Wow…did anyone notice that Paul Byrd is ranked ahead of Pedro Martinez on that list of top FA’s?!

    ANYONE can be a sportswriter….