Indians Gear Up for Baseball Winter Meetings

By Lindsey Foltin

With “Snow Days” in full affect right now at Progressive Field, many Tribe fans have found themselves actually having fun at the ballpark, as the less-than mediocre Indians are out of sight and out of mind while they enjoy snow tubing, ice skating and hot chocolate. However, for Indians executives, it’s palm trees and sun block down in Lake Buena Vista, Florida where winter meetings will take place this week.

Even though the Dolans have said there’s “no money” to spend on free agents this off-season, they’re still expected to make a few moves to give this young team some help.

One spot that the Indians shouldn’t cross of their list is third base. Yes, they did just sign infielder Jack Hannahan as a spring training invitee, but this former member of the Seattle Mariners ball club batted .237 and didn’t see the light of day in the majors last season. Not exactly the “veteran leader third basemen with a bat” that we were all hoping for. After Jayson Nix and Luis Valbuena both had an unproductive year, and Lonnie Chisenhall at least half a season away from being Major League ready, the Tribe needs to make a move for a third baseman, and they’ve made it clear they’re shopping on a budget. It’s times like these that make me wish we never let Kevin Kouzmanoff get away.

Indians Outfielder Grady Sizemore

With Grady Sizemore coming back after missing most of last season due to a knee injury, who knows which Grady we’re going to get. Even if he’s healthy and ready to go for Opening Day, they’ll need to get right-handed bat to add into the mix of Sizemore, Choo and Brantley. I know it’s more than a reach, but if the Dolans were willing to spend the money, I wouldn’t mind seeing Manny Ramirez come back for a year or two. I know it would never happen, but it would put fans in the seats, and people would revel in the glory days that Manny was a part of. Even though he did nothing for the White Sox last year when they signed him short-term in hopes of helping them reach the playoffs, he might be a little more motivated to play for a team like the Tribe. I know, I’m dreaming…

The need for pitching on this team is a given. Fausto has emerged as the clear leader of the pitching staff, and maybe the team in general. It looks like we’ll head in to another spring training with our starting rotation completely up in the air, with the exception of Carmona and Josh Tomlin. Guys like Carlos Carrasco, Justin Germano and Aaron Laffey among others better step it up this off-season if they want a job come Opening Day. With such a young pitching staff, it would be nice to have a veteran leader come in and help mold these guys.

So, who’s available? Where did (or will) some of the big name free agents go? Things will start to get interesting this week, as names will be flying, deals will be made (and broken) faster than that Adrian Gonzalez to Boston went from “done” to “un-done” in less than 24 hours.

Here is some of most recent pre-Winter Meetings activity of note: Washington Nationals sign free agent RF Jayson Werth. St. Louis Cardinals sign free agent INF Lance Berkman. Chicago White Sox sign free agent 1B Adam Dunn and re-sign free agent C A.J. Pierzynski. Boston Red Sox sign free agent 2B Drew Sutton. San Francisco Giants sign free agent SS Miguel Tejada. Florida Marlins sign free agent RHP Javier Vazquez. Pittsburg Pirates sign free agent 3B Andy Marte. Atlanta Braves sign free agent CF Jose Constanza. Cleveland Indians sign free agent C Luke Carlin. Los Angeles Dodgers sign free agent 2B Juan Uribe. Detroit Tigers sign free agent C Victor Martinez.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LindseyBaseball

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1 Comment

  1. Sounds far fetched, but Manny being signed to an incentive heavy contract could work.


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