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Good long read on several topics relating to the Indians- “As of right now, the Indians have 10 contracts settled for the 2012 season. There is $50.31 million locked up in those deals ($54.31 million if Grady Sizemore hits on all his incentives). For the sake of projecting the payroll, let’s just use the median salaries in play for Cabrera ($4.475M) and Raffy Perez ($2M). Under that scenario, Cleveland would have $56.785M ($60.785 with Grady’s incentives) in the fold for 2012.
If we use the 2012 league minimum to project the final 13 spots ($6.24M at the very least), the Indians would project to be at $63.025M ($67.025M) for 2012. Obviously that’s before any more additions to the Major League roster (a first baseman, perhaps?) prior to Opening Day. Since some players will likely make more than the league minimum, that means the payroll will probably fall in the neighborhood of $70 million before any other signings.” [Bastian/MLB.com]
“Conventional wisdom, at least the sports talk radio version, is that the team has to be VERY bad again, to get another top draft pick, and continue the long rebuilding process. They are spunky now, but darn them, these wins are costing us ping pong balls.
This is a twisted side effect of being a Cavs fan in a Browns world. The Browns have conditioned us to think that we are always several years away, and the day the tailgate grills burn most optimistically is in April. On draft day. I am sorry, but this is pathetic, and the Cavs don’t have to act this way. They are a .500 team through 12 games, and their longest road trip of the season is now in the rear view mirror. Are they an NBA title contender? No. Can they contend for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference this year? The answer is decisively yes. Should they try to contend this year? Even more decisively, yes.” [Haganation]
Brendan caught up with Monta Ellis after Tuesday’s game with the Warriors. He was impressed with Kyrie Irving- “I think Kyrie Irving is a great young point guard. He can score and pass, and he definitely has a great future ahead of him.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules]
Tony Lastoria reports on a right-handed bat from within that might help the Indians a little as early as this year- “Now that [Thomas] Neal has had time to rest and recover from the hand injury last season, his right-handed bat and versatility in the outfield could really help the Indians at some point this season. As a right-handed hitter he brings something the Indians lack not only in Cleveland but through their minor league system. To break into the big leagues he is going to need to show he versatile in the outfield and fill a fourth outfield role.” [Tony/Indians Prospect Insider]
“ESPN’s just one of the prominently featured supporters of SOPA, the law that has your favorite non-Deadspin sites going black today. The vague language of SOPA (and its associate PIPA) opens up a huge latitude for the government to shut down sites that link (even occasionally) to content that infringes upon copyright. One of those sites is Grantland, which regularly links to unlicensed clips on YouTube. Bill Simmons alone accounted for 98 possible SOPA-worthy violations, which could put Grantland.com—and ESPN.com—at serious risk of being seized by the government. The full list of potential violations is below.” [Burke/Deadspin]