Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Indians Arbitration Streak Continues as Perez signs

Greg Swindell.

In 1991, Greg Swindell was awarded a $2 million dollar salary by Stephen Goldberg, and arbitrator that knew nothing about baseball. It was this single solitary moment that changed the philosophy of the Cleveland Indians forever. John Hart and Dan O'Dowd created a plan to sign their youth to long-term contracts, thus avoiding the dreaded arbitration. This plan created the great team of the 90's, and also created a mentality of avoiding arbitration that has lasted nearly 20 years.

Long gone is John Hart, Dan O'Dowd and the 11 players that he signed to long-term deals. Long gone are the victories and the World Series visits. Still in place, the long standing tradition to avoid arbitration. Ahh, it's good to see the important traditions continue.

The streak continued today with the signing of Rafael Perez to a one-year deal worth $795,000. He rolled out a 7.91 ERA to go with his 4-3 record and two demotions to triple-A. Not only did Perez lose his command, but he also lost his imposing slider. He seemed to regain his control during winterball, with a blazing 3-0 record in six starts, with a 0.33 ERA, while striking out 25 in 27 innings and only walking 10. For the Indians to do anything but lose, they'll need Perez to be effective in the set-up role.

With regards to arbitration, it is good that the Indians have found a way to sign players prior to this process. At the same time, the rest of Hart's principals have gone by the wayside. Unfortunately for the Indians, baseball's current money structure has made it nearly impossible for management to sustain any sort of winning structure.

So the arbitration streak continues. Let's hope that the streak of futility of the past two years can somehow end.

No comments:

Post a Comment