I'll take this one.
Poor Cleveland is right. $38.6mil of a $61.4mil payroll is tied up in a guy coming off tommy-john and missing the last 1 and 5/6 of a season coming into this year (Westbrook), a 2006 MVP candidate (played only the first 5 mos that year) who's then signed a huge contract only to fade into injury and obscurity as a below average clean-up man (Hafner), an All-Star closer in 2008 as a Cub only to sign with Cle and collect all of 25 saves in the last one-and-near-one-half seasons (Wood), and Grady Sizemore (out for year). Talk about a "bad hand".
But.. as a CLE fan, I've been keeping up on the trades and what's going on on the farm - we have to, us Indians fans. Rebuilding is always - these days - right around the corner. I read a great piece touching on the trades the other day, I reference below.
The Indians are in a spot where they have to trade major talent - top-of-their-game talent - for masses of uber-young pre-prospects, hope they strike gold and a reasonable 1st multi-year contract on a couple, then tie that in a few cheap (mostly left-for-dead or past-their-prime) FA veterans, and hope to compete every few years, for a few years.. only to trade the best ones after 2-3 seasons.
I think the original poster, and a few others, are short sighted regarding the Indians trades. They only just happened. The Lee and Victor trades happened well less than a season ago.
I was reminded of several things in a recent piece on Diatribe.com (a great Indians blog) regarding their last several trades (stats/quotes courtesy of Diatribe):
2 1/2 YEARS after the famous Colon for Size/Phillips/Cliff (respectively 23/19/21yrs old at the time) trade, (from Diatribe.com) "the Indians had 'enjoyed' an OPS of .556 from Brandon Phillips in 136 MLB games, a 4.88 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP from Cliff Lee in 44 starts, and had received 159 plate appearances from Grady Sizemore." That's a Cy Young, 3x All-Star, and a more-than-solid SS (4 straight years of 23+ SB, 17+ HR, .275 overall avg) in the last 5yrs. That was 2004, 3 before they made the first 'real' impact (if you can even call it that at 3yrs) when they were 26, 22 and 24.
"Speaking of DeRosa, does anyone else marvel that the Indians were able to turn 3 months of him into what looks like their Future Closer (who probably should be their Present Closer) in Chris F. Perez and into Jess Todd, who is now sitting on an ERA of 3.58 in Columbus after a rough start to the year, striking out more than a batter an inning in AAA?"
>> 3mos of DeRosa = 24yr old 'closer of the future' and 24yr old 9+K/inn AAA reliever.
Whereas the Lee deal is so early, but admittedly not-exciting-so-far: "...label Jason Donald a “future Utility IF” or bemoan the fact that Lou Marson is already destined for a back-up position (not realizing... he currently ranks 3rd in MLB by gunning down 38% of would be base stealers...), or point to Carlos Carrasco’s inconsistency while pointing out that Jason Knapp has yet to throw a pitch in the Cleveland organization" (elbow surgery for Happ).
>> btw, they are 25/24/23/19 years old. Lee = 4 very young, very high ceiling prospects.
There's the 2008 Casey Blake trade - yielded 24yr old Carlos Santana. Personally, however biased, I'd say a future top 3 Catcher.
>> slightly above average 3B + plus partial-year remaining salary = looking like the next V-mart.
Then the best one... V-mart for Hagadone, Masterson, and Price: 25yr old Masterson shifted his arm angle about 6 weeks ago, and has been very efficient (incl CG 6k shut-out of BOS) since, while 24yr old "Nick Hagadone, has put up cumulative 2010 [AAA] numbers of a 2.86 ERA.. 57 K to 38 BB in 50 2/3 IP ...projects either to the front of the rotation or the back end of the bullpen", and lastly 23yr old Bryan Price, "Currently, he sits in the bullpen in (AA) Akron and has struck out 30 hitters while walking just 5 in the 25 innings [he's worked]"...
>> not bad less than 11mos in, and with Vmart's expiring contract...
Shapiro has a bad hand, and that's understating it, but give a little time....
Last edited by jswede on Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.