Yesterday was a good day to be a Cleveland Indians fan. Yesterday was a damn good day. Josh Barfield just opened the door for the Tribe to get a whole lot better. Not only will HE improve the team, but as I said yesterday, he's about 2 million dollars more inexpensive than their least expensive alternative. This will be used to improve other facets of the team.
One of the best parts of this news is the two-fold screw job put on by the Indians. K2 was definately one of the keys to getting Sheffield from the Yankees. The fact that the Yanks wanted him, and didn't get him, makes me damn near giddy. The Indians also used the fact that the Yankees wanted him as a way to get the 2B that they wanted. Whereas Cleveland has a couple of answers at 3B (since K2 wasn't even assured of starting on the big club), San Diego has nothing in their 2B closet. Look for the Padres to be forced to deal for Marcus Giles, to unite the Giles' brothers.
So now, the roller coaster begins. Nomar Garciaparra is once again on the radar, as he was this time last year. Nomah is a damn fine player when he's healthy. That being said, I do have issues with Nomar. He's not exceptionally old at 33, and he had a fantastic year for the Dodgers for sure. He also played in only 120 games last year, the most games he's played in the past 5 years. Not a great track record for a guy who's going to command 8 to 9 million dollars, and who longs for the west coast. If this guy wasn't so fragile, I'd be knocking on his door right now for a contract.
The Indians probably surprised a bunch of teams when they put in a bid for highly sought after Japanese pitcher, Daisuke Matsuzaka. The assumption was that Cleveland couldn't compete in the market for this Japanese superstar. Either most people were wrong, or the Indians are trying to drive up the price for someone else, which I think is likely. Still, This kid is an ace, and could really make the Indians staff something special. Perhaps their offer improved when they signed Barfield, since the Tribe figured to be ready to make a bid for third baseman Akinori Iwamura, who they were planning on moving to 2nd base. Either way, click that link in this paragraph, as the Indians are starting to make a dent in their Far East scouting.
Then, of course, there are all the rumblings about Buck Showalter joining the Indians as an "advisor". Of course, Shapiro and Dolan both immediately stated that this move wouldn't in any way effect Eric Wedge, and that Showalter would lead the Indians in their Spring Training move from Winter Haven to Arizona. They were also quick to announce that Wedge, himself, wanted him in the organization. I'm not a Showalter fan, so I question this move IF they really signed him as a potential Wedge succesor.
Cleveland's on the move right now. Let's just hope that it's not a one-shot deal...