August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Spring training news/speculation and Cavalier trade options

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.

Defending the Sizemore signing- “Maybe the Tribe could have used the Sizemore savings in other areas, such as increasing their offer to first baseman Carlos Pena. They reportedly offered Pena $8 million to come to Cleveland, and he opted instead to sign with the Rays for $7.25 million. Maybe if they threw a couple more million on the pile, they could have reeled him in. But then you have to ask yourself if Carlos Pena is worth eight figures. The long-winded point here is that there are any number of opportunities the Indians could have explored beyond Sizemore, but none of them strike me as particularly appealing. And none of them featured the kind of upside the Grady deal presented (and perhaps, depending on the severity of this back situation, still presents).

No, if you want to criticize the Indians at this point, criticize the system, not the signing. This club simply did not infuse enough quality outfield talent into its system through the Draft and trades to come to the forefront in times like these.” [Castrovince/CastroTurf]

Interesting take on potential Cavalier moves- “For the Cavs, I think there is almost no downside to taking back deals that expire by 2013 – 2014. Reasons include: Kyrie or any other youngsters won’t need extended until after that. There is no reasonable way the Cavs run up against salary cap issues in this timeframe. Cleveland will need to pay someone over the next two years; it’s likely better as a short term commitment through a trade than an overpaid free agent.

Once the more prohibitive luxury tax kicks in, the NBA could see heavily lopsided trades. Trading for contracts with a couple of years remaining right now has a dual benefit. It gives the Cavs expiring contracts to include in those robberies, and also helps restrict long-term payroll obligations, so they can take on money while staying under the luxury tax themselves.” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog]

The Indians weren’t the only ones with injury woes- “Things looked like they may finally be starting to turn around for Zumaya when he entered Minnesota Twins camp on a Major League deal and was reportedly throwing as hard as ever. Unfortunately yesterday, news broke that Zumaya left his throwing session after just five minutes, walking off with head trainer Rick McWane.

After undergoing an MRI, it was revealed today that Zumaya has once again torn his ulnar collateral ligament and will require Tommy John’s surgery and will miss all of the 2012 season. Zumaya has not thrown more than 40 innings at the Major League level since his rookie year and this latest blow could very well signal the end for the 26-year-old fireballer.” [Reitsma/Getting Blanked]

Acta’s non-hitting drills- “Today was Day 1 of Manny Acta’s famous — well, around here anyways — “tracking” program. For the first couple days of live batting practice sessions, which has the pitcher throwing to hitters without any screens on the field, batters are not permitted to swing.

The technique serves a couple purposes. For one, the pitchers are always ahead of the hitters this early in camp. So this gives hitters the chance to stand in, watch different pitches and work on their timing. Beyond that, it gives the pitchers the first chance to locate with a batter standing at the plate. It’s a whole different feel without a body in the box.” [Bastian/MLB.com]

“Does that mean that we should all just ignore Spring Training games and results? Of course not, as Spring Training is that glorious time when everything seems possible and hope builds upon hope. But if you’re even just talking about these arms that are slotting themselves for the first (and second…and third) shot at the 5th starter spot, I’m actually more interested in whether Scott Barnes and/or Austin Adams can make some progress in becoming more than that 5th starter/swing man fodder that the previous group seems to represent. Maybe that is simply preferring the devil I don’t know to the one that I think I do, but whoever “wins” the 5th starter spot will be on a tight leash while the other guys sort themselves out in Columbus.

Short of an injury or a sudden resolution to the Carmona/Hernandez situation (and I’m having trouble seeing that for a while, regardless of what Carmona/Hernandez and his agent may think), that last spot in the rotation could be in flux for a while. Realistically, that 4th spot could be in play as well if Josh Tomlin is not able to remedy the issues that plagued him in the second half of 2011 as he retains options, just like the pitchers that figure to be sitting in Columbus, waiting for a shot at the rotation.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]