So, what does this mean?
The Diatribe reports that the potential is there for a Michaels/Dellucci platoon, which seems to be the obvious take given Dellucci's penchant for hitting right handers. However, Joe Longo, Dellucci's agent stated
"The key factor there was his role. They've given him the left fielder's job. He also felt he wanted to be in a lineup that had a chance to win. He wanted to come back to the American League. That was the best fit."Hmmmm...interesting comments. It could mean that Longo is selling his guy as the starter, or it could be a true statement. I lean towards the latter since I don't think Longo would set Dellucci up like that the day of his signing (of course...he is an agent). There's also a whole lot of time between now, and the regular season. There's plenty of time for the Tribe to make sure Michaels in the mix.
My belief here, however, is that Michaels may be on the block now as part of a bigger deal. I'm not going to speculate on who, since I was speculating about Carl Crawford earlier tonight on my wishlist, which is obviously now not going to happen (right field anyone?) now. That being said, I could see Michaels being part of a deal with someone like Ryan Garko to acquire a major player to close. Of course, Michaels isn't exactly a major piece of trade bait, in any year but this year.
I wouldn't mind seeing Scot Shields, or Mike Gonzalez wearing the Tribe colors this year, and would certainly give up Garko to get someone of their quality at this stage of the game. Both, in my humble opinion, would be "lock" players to deal for, unlike the other relievers that are being bantered about in deals or free agent signings. You can give Garko up for those types of players.
Of course, General manager Mark Shapiro told MLB.com today something that could throw this all into the tank...
The team had gained "momentum" on talks with several free agents and that this could be an active week for the team."Several Free Agents?" And we aren't to the Winter Meetings yet.
So I ask you all? Is it exciting yet? Barfield and Dellucci to start with, and you really get a sense that we are just at the beginning of 2 or 3 MORE moves to shore up this team. Hold onto your seats Tribe fan, it could be the beginning of a bountiful offseason. Now if we could just make the regular season as exciting.
What Dellucci brings to the team:
At 3 years, and 11.5 million, Dellucci brings a solid left handed bat to the lineup at a pretty big bargain. Over the past three years, he's hit 59 dingers and 165 RBIs. He has a lifetime .263 average, but batted .292 last year. His numbers last year are tricky. He did play in 132 games last year, but only had 264 at bats, down nearly 200 from the year before, when he hit 29 dingers and had 65 RBIs. He does strike out a lot, and certainly cleans up a bit on RHP. 81 of his 85 total Home Runs have come against RHP, and his average jumps up to .271. He's played in 5 games at Jacobs field, with 21 at bats, and has hit .286 with 2 dingers and 5 RBI. Nothing major there, but he CAN hit at the Jake. He's been a platooner his whole career, and it just seems like a natural thing for him to do this year, with Michaels.
What does he bring outside of the stats? He's always been a positive clubhouse presence, and is that Brian Giles kind of guy, always has a dirty uniform, and plays with a bit of abandon. A very good signing for Cleveland. There team got a bit better today.
One Final Note today:
Longtime Cleveland announcer Casey Coleman died today after his year-long battle with cancer. Coleman was a part of my household, like most of us Cleveland fans, every night, bringing us the sports on channel 8. In many ways, he's a legend in Cleveland broadcasting. He was good humored, and always seemed to make the close calls seem a little less bad than they really were. It's funny, but as I'm writing this, a ton of memories of his sportscasts are flying through my head, long since forgotten, but never really to far from visibility. Cleveland lost one of its own today. ANY time that happens, you have to stop and pay your respects. He was one of the good guys, no matter your opinion. Cleveland Sports is certainly a better place for having you, and will truly never really be the same.
"We're Rounding Third, and Heading for Home........"