Will the Tribe find a second baseman?
Will the Tribe find a power hitting outfielder?
Will the Tribe find a closer?
Will the Tribe find a starter to fill innings?
Will the Tribe give their farmhands a chance?
Will the Tribe trade VMart for a start at any of the above, or more than one?
Will Dolan actually open up the checkbook to answer even 1 of the issues?
...and keep Shapiro as well...
There's a sense of urgency this offseason for Cleveland, that if they don't do something now, this team, full of potential, will end up in the crapper. I am left thinking that we need to do something big this offseason, but not something drastic that could change this team. But of course, the buzz has been to deal VMart because of his defense. Truthfully, it leaves me shaking my head.
The great Terry Pluto said it best today, and I happen to agree with him 100%. You won't be able to replace the offense, and if you take away his starts behind the plate, both his offense will improve, as will his defense, just in stress alone. In my humble opinion, Kelly Shoppach is a fantastic option, and using him more will only improve the club, and at the very least, give them a very, very valuable option come the trade deadline. If you deal anyone, it's Shoppach, after showing the league how good he can be.
As for answering the other questions, I'll dive into those through several more off season posts, one at a time, and if everything works out, we'll have the answers soon. Until then, there are a boatload of options of some blogs to help you get through the hard times. The DiaTribe, perhaps my favorite Tribe blog focuses on Pluto a bit, but gives us the nugget that Chris Antonetti, the Tribe assistant GM and highly sought after by numerous other clubs, is building a house here in Cleveland. Good news for sure for the Tribe. It does make you wonder if Shapiro's days are numbered however.
Let's Go Tribe is focusing on where closers come from, in a not so hidden way of saying, it's not so damn easy to just sign a closer. Where will the next Cleveland closer come from? Good question, but it may not be prudent to throw 2 or 3 million to someone with a history, if they are on the downside of that history. Great freakin' read.
Tribe 24/7 takes a look at the true plethora of Tribe prospects there are. Scroll down, because there are a few. They may not be studs in the making, but they should, at the very least, fill in the bench at the very least, for years to come.
Finally, at the Indians Most Valuable Network, they take a close look at Trevor Crowe, and how he could be the prototypical lead off hitter that the Tribe may be looking for to take over for Sizemore, so they could move him down the order.
And finally, take a look at Mistake by the Lake Sports. They have a must see with the Indians Awards. One of the original ones. They do a real nice job of stats as well. It's a must have for all Indians fans.
All great stuff.
One final note before I move onto some other posts. I would be remissed if I didn't mention that Major League Baseball has delivered on a labor deal without the worry of a strike. The interesting piece here is that Larry Dolan apparently was one of the major reasons why. As most of you know, Dolan was formerly a labor lawyer with MLB. He apparently was at every meeting, and was the calming influence that kept the meeting moving forward. Probably the big quote coming from Dolan through all of this was
"We are right in the middle," said Dolan. "If you project it out for the next five years, we'd still be getting $8 million. But damn it, we're going to change that. We want to improve to where we are a payer, not a payee."Let's hope he speaks the truth. And you know what Larry, I'll pat you on the back for this one. But trust me when I say, if you don't step up and make that statement true for once, that pat on the back will be a kick in the ass.