April 20, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Tribe Trade Partners, Browns Behaving and Striking Out Harper

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

Big thanks to Cre8ive Juice for the new WWW images. Great job Michael!

“So while the North Coast has visions of Carlos Beltran coming to Cleveland, it’s not even all that clear that Beltran would want to come here, which is likely the reason that the Indians are targeting guys like the Cubs’ Jeff Baker, who is apparently not being made available by Chicago, despite their organizational standing and their ability to flip an ancillary part in a non-contending season for pieces that could help them in the future.

Can you hear it now? Pouring out of your radio in the car…“The Indians need a Beltran and they go out and ask about or acquire a guy I’ve never heard of. Yeah, GREAT move Indians!”

Well, if they’re asking on Baker, they’re actually doing exactly what I had hoped that they would do as Baker is a versatile RH bat who can play 5 positions and is under club control through the end of NEXT season. Yes, Baker has a .746 OPS this season as a Utility Man for the Cubs, but he’s played 1B, 2B, 3B, RF, and LF this season while posting a .902 OPS vs. LHP. Remember when I wrote that the Indians should be looking for Casey Blake of about 6 years ago to be the versatile RH bat that they could move around the infield not just this year, but beyond? That’s a guy like Jeff Baker…” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

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Bengals getting busted. What else is new- “Now that Benson has been arrested — again — as the NFL lockout appears to be nearing an end, it’s fair to wonder whether re-signing Benson is the right plan for the Bengals. According to reports, Benson was booked on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a family member over the weekend. That came during the same week that Bengals backup safety Marvin White was arrested on a simple assault charge — and exactly a week after cornerback Adam Jones, allegedly acting like his alter ego, Pacman Jones, was arrested in a bar in Cincinnati.” [Jackson/FSO]

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“Kipnis had a good showing this past week in two different All Star games, hitting a lead off homer for the USA team in the All Star Futures Game last Sunday and going 1-for-2 with a double and walk in the Triple-A All Star game on Wednesday. He is hitting .292 with 11 homers, 51 RBI, and a .875 OPS in 85 games at Columbus, and all signs point to him being ready with the bat to contribute at the big league level. With the Indians desperate for hitting, he would surely help give the lineup a boost.

The one problem with all of this is the presence of incumbent second baseman Orlando Cabrera. The Indians saw what a disaster it was when they made the in-season switch last month to Cord Phelps as the regular second baseman and relegated Cabrera to more of a utility role. The move did not sit well with Cabrera who vocalized his displeasure about the second base change and did not take to third base well, and it backfired with Phelps as he struggled both offensively and defensively.

With Cabrera now settled into his second base spot again, it looks like the Indians have made a decision to stick with him for the long haul and he could be the second baseman for the rest of the season. Cabrera is a favorite of manager Manny Acta and he also brings a ton of leadership to a team in need of it. Even with his sub par play offensively and defensively the Indians appear inclined to stick with him at second base in order not to risk rocking the boat and damaging the psyche of the team as they make a playoff run.” [Tony/Indians Prospect Insider]

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Nationals uber-prospect Bryce Harper meets Tribe prospect Drew Pomeranz. Advantage Pomeranz. Video. [Let's Go Tribe]

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Character guys, but will they finish last?- “Last summer the Browns had four players arrested and all are no longer with the team. Shaun Rogers and Robaire Smith both got pinched for having loaded guns in airports, Chris Jennings was charged for assault at a nightclub, and Gerard Lawson for DUI. (Robaire’s technically still on the roster but the team may chose not to bring him back). Compare that lot to the arrests of 2009, and you can see Browns are making progress: Braylon Edwards charged with misdemeanor assault and Donte Stallworth for DUI manslaughter. That’s a biggie.

The only red flags on the current roster belong to their top-3 draft picks. Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard both have rap sheets for fighting in college, and Greg Little attempted to set the world record for parking tickets at UNC. Still, those are just red flags right now and no trouble has been caused at the pro-level yet. Compared to the rest of the division the Browns might as well be angels…” [Weinland/Dawgs By Nature]

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New Tribe blog on the map with a this day in Tribe history involving Joe Dimaggio… “On May 15, 1941, Joe DiMaggio began a hitting streak with a single against the Chicago White Sox. Two months later, DiMaggio’s streak had stretched to 56 games when he smashed a double and two singles against the Cleveland Indians at League Park on July 16, 1941.  DiMaggio had overtaken the modern major league record of 41 games by George Sisler, and Wee Willie Keeler’s ancient mark of 44 games.”
[Did the Tribe Win Last Night?]

  • 5KMD

    “Compared to the rest of the division the Browns might as well be angels.”

    But remember, the rooneys and the steelers are the classiest organization around. No amount of arrests or questionable behavior can ever change that apparently.

    It’s like still saying the US has the best economy in the world.

  • Garry Owen

    So OCab complains when the Tribe brought up Phelps, but this is the guy that “brings a ton of leadership to a team in need of it”??

    I’m no expert, but I do know a thing or two about “leadership,” and that ain’t it.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    I agree Garry. There is a fine line between competitiveness and wanting to play vs. conduct detrimental to the clubhouse. A very very fine line.

  • Harv 21

    Player character issues in Cincy has been an issue for years and the problem starts at the top with Mike Brown. For example, he insisted they coddle Chris Henry and acknowledges that he loves trying to save souls. Anyone who complains that Lerner is too removed should gaze downstate as a reminder of what happens when owners think they know best because they’re, you know, the owner.

  • mgbode

    if we’re on the phone with the Cubs, then can we ask about Ryan Dempster too? he was absolutely filthy vs. the Marlins and he’s been hurt by the Cubs more than by himself this season. $5mil left this season and $14mil next season. Not the cheapest option, but he’s a SO artist we could use a power-pitcher in our arsenal.

    also, you say Jeff Baker, I counter with Jeff Keppinger. it’s a battle of the Jeff’s: Go!

    (i’d be happy if we get either one)

  • mgbode

    sorry: just read that Dempster has a no-trade clause and would likely not accept a trade out of Chicago.

    do the Cubs just give those to everybody? (Wood, Aramis, Dempster, etc.)