There is a white flag climbing the flagpole at Regressive Field. Mark Shapiro is willing to trade anything not nailed down. It is only a matter of days (or hours) before Victor Martinez becomes the latest to go. There is a chorus of boos coming from the Tribe faithful, but perhaps most frightening is the apathy that is washing over the city.
Can you blame them? The writing is on the wall. DeRosa. Betancourt. Garko. Lee. Millions and millions of dollars cut from next year’s payroll. Despite his reported desire to stay with the team past next season, Victor and his 7 million dollar 2010 contract won’t make it to September in a Tribe uniform. It is a fact we will have to embrace, and so I have a proposal.
Mark Shapiro, as you field calls for Martinez let me give you a mantra to utter- “you have to take Hafner too.” That’s right. Make then take Travis Hafner’s damaged shoulder and albatross contract. Take a page from the NBA. Let’s ditch a bad contract. Think about it- the Red Sox don’t care how many millions of dollars they flush down the toilet. They gave some Japanese team $50 million dollars for the right to talk to Matsuzaka. If they don’t want to give Hafner a spot on the major league team, just put him on the DL. Nobody would question that. Sit him for the season. Or cut him. Buy out his contract. Whatever. Just get us out of that deal.
The highest paid Indians are Hafner, Westbrook and Kerry Wood. None of them will live up to the deals they signed with the Indians. The Indians are also in a much different financial situation now. Perhaps the only way to get out of the mess they are in is to get rid of these contracts. Let’s start with Hafner.
While we’re at it, since it is only a matter of time before we have to trade Grady Sizemore, let’s put together a serious package. Martinez and Sizemore are on the block together- but you have to take Hafner, Westbrook and Wood as well. We’ll take 6 AA players for them. What do you say?