Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quick thoughts on the Lee trade
So let me get this right: Cliff Lee won the Cy Young last year, has pitched very well this year, and has an option left on his deal.

And the Indians get ... no Major League-ready talent.

-I'm not upset the Indians traded Lee. They're going nowhere fast and it's best to get some young players for him to replenish the system. But was this really the best GM Mark Shapiro could do?

- People always talk about the Bartolo Colon deal. But here's why this one is different: The Phillies aren't owned by Major League Baseball (you know, like the Expos were) and thus, Ruben Amaro actually gives a damn what he gives up. Omar Minaya (in the news this week for something completely different but just as ridiculous) knew his future wasn't in Montreal, or Washington. He was just trying to snare a Cy Young contender (Colon) to help his team contend and impress a potential suitor. Mark Shapiro was able to take advantage of the situation, snaring three talented players. Of course, he gave one away for no reason.

- Here's a big reason why we're writing about the Indians trading for youth again: They can't draft.

Who are the Indians best players right now? Sizemore? A trade. Asdrubal Cabrera? Trade. Shin Soo Choo? Trade.

The Indians drafts have produced such winners as Trevor Crowe, Michael Aubrey and Brad Snyder. Even the talent we trade away (Franklin Gutierrez) aren't home grown.

A team that can't draft almost has to be bad every other year. How else to be in a position to trade for young talent.

Even now, the ONLY two players in Columbus people seem to talk about are Michael Brantley and Matt LaPorta. They were acquired after the Indians woefully underachieved in 2008.

- Can the guys the Indians received in this deal pan out? Sure. Carlos Carrasco is struggling in AAA. Jason Knapp is an intriguing prospect, but he's super young. Catcher Lou Marson? Do they not like Carlos Santana? Shortstop Jason Donald? The HAVE a shortstop.

But the Indians probably won't contend next year. By 2011, Shapiro will be approaching a decade as the GM, with only one playoff appearance on his resume.

That might fly with the owners. The fans? That's another story.



At 7:30 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

It's not just about the players traded and received, and how it affects the product on the field. In fact, that's down the list of importance from the Tribe's perspective.

This trade was a salary dump. The Indians' payroll is less than it was at this time yesterday, and it is $9 million less next year. That's a victory in the Dolans' book.

Despite what Shapiro said in yesterday's presser, it looks like the Indians are in some financial trouble. They were looking at attendance of around 1.7-1.8 million this year, maybe over 2 million with a return to contention. Now, the economy, lousy baseball and distrust among the fan base has conspired to kill the Indians at the gate.

Maybe they'll draw 1.5 million. Maybe not. And fewer ticket sales indicate lower merchandise sales and lower TV ratings.

That's why this trade was made, and that's also why you can look for V-Mart to be traded between now and Friday afternoon.

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