The Major League Baseball roster deadline on November 20th is quickly approaching. While not highly publicized, this is a key date in the offseason as it is one of the first steps teams take to finalize their roster for the upcoming season. The IBI's Tony Lastoria takes a deep look into all of the roster options and uses lots of insight gained from talking to people inside and outside the Indians organization to determine the players to be rostered and some surprises that are not.
The winter season really picked up this past week as a handful of Indians players helped lead the Surprise Saguaros to the AFL title. Leading the charge for Surprise was outfielder Tyler Naquin, who really had a brilliant fall season in the AFL. He's been criticized throughout his minor league career, but could he now be taking that next step as a prospect. Join the IBI's Steve Orbanek as he discusses as part of the weekly Winter Ball Notebook.
At this very moment last winter, Ryan Raburn was unemployed. Ending 2012 with a .171 batting average, he was cut from Detroit after playing just 66 games with the Tigers. One year later, he's revived his baseball career once again, this time some 170 miles south of Motown as a member of the Indians. IBI Tribe beat reporter Jim Berdysz wonders if Raburn should play every day in 2014.
The MLB offseason is fascinating because of the rampant rumors and predictions where everyone is going to land. The Indians had a strong showing in 2013, but have a lot of work to replace some outgoing free agents and try to improve at the same time. All of that sets up for what should be yet another intriguing offseason around MLB, and in Cleveland as well. The IBI's Andy Nichols wraps up his predictions with where he believes the top 25 free agents go this offseason.
One of the most exciting aspects of the offseason is reading all of the rumors and predicting where the top free agents will land. After a strong showing in 2012's free agent market, and a 2013 playoff run, the Indians could be in store for another exciting offseason. Join the IBI's Andy Nichols as he offers up his well thought out predictions on where all the top MLB free agents land. Would Dan Haren or Jess Crain interest you, Indians fans?
The 2013 season saw two different Zach McAllisters pitch for the Cleveland Indians. There was the first-half version, who seemed to be well on his way to cementing himself as a rotation regular, and then the second-half version, who struggled to pitch late into games and seemed afraid to throw breaking pitches. So what can the Indians expect in 2014? Join the IBI's Steve Orbanek as he opines in the latest edition of Orbiting Cleveland.
Here is the first Cleveland Indians depth chart for the 2014 season and where players are "projected" to be assigned from Cleveland all the way down to extended spring training. We will continue to update this listing as moves are made this offseason, during spring training, and throughout the season with the addition, subtraction, promotion, demotion, etc of players.
Corey Kluber is the most interesting man in the world. Perhaps that is an overstatement, but his quiet, complex demeanor is so entirely appealing. The IBI's Michael Hattery takes a deep look into Kluber in the way that only he can by breaking down his performance in 2013 and why he ascended to a good starting pitcher option.....and gives his recommendation as to whether such performance is sustainable for 2014 and beyond.
The Cleveland Indians have a model that they've followed since John Hart left the Indians in 2001. This model has brought the club four 90-win seasons, but have failed to get the Indians to the World Series. Can this team take the next step, or will the follow the path of their predecessors, who failed to make the final moves to win the ultimate Prize. Join Jim Pete with his weekly stroll around the Corner of Carnegie...
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona has been selected as the American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association. He edged Boston's John Farrell and Oakland’s Bob Melvin who were also finalists for the award.
The question many have asked the past couple seasons has been is Justin Masterson an ace? After his breakout season in 2011, the Indians thought he could be, but 2012 saw him regress significantly. Now after the 2013 season, Masterson has reestablished his effectiveness as a top-of-the-rotation starter, but is he a legitimate ace? The IBI's Jake Dungan speculates in this week's Swinging for the Fences
The Cleveland Indians have a lot of decisions to make this offseason, but with their current crop of free agents still making up their minds, it's hard to predict where the Indians will go for free agent or trade help. While we are waiting, let's take a look at some potential "newcomers" within the system. In this week's Power Poll, which potential rookie or potential minor leaguer will have the most impact with the Indians in 2014?
The Indians bullpen is at a crossroads this offseason. No longer can they rely on Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith at the backend of the bullpen like they have the last three years since Perez is gone, Smith is likely gone and Pestano has health concerns. The Indians will likely rely more heavily on Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen, but they are expected to be creative in finding more help for the backend of the bullpen. The IBI's Andy Nichols takes a look at some potential trade targets to fill that need.
Ubaldo Jimenez is expected to decline the qualifying offer that the Indians extended to him this week, and thus will have declined a contract with the Indians for 2014 not once, but twice. The IBI's Tony Lastoria talks about why it is time to move on from Jimenez and how his market may be shaping up. He also talks about why Scott Kazmir was not extended a qualifying offer, runs through some early rumors, explains why Jesus Aguilar has played third base of late, and more.
With the offseason now in full swing, we know that one of the Indians' top priorities will be re-signing either one or both of Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir? But what if the team does indeed lose both players to free agency? Who should be the team's target then? Join the IBI's Steve Orbanek as he presents his case in the latest edition of Orbiting Cleveland.
Entering 2013, the Indians had as stable a backend of the bullpen with Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez. Fast forward to the end of the season, and suddenly it might be the most unstable position on the team since Smith is a free agent, Perez was released, and Pestano is a complete unknown after a tough 2013 because of injury and performance issues. The IBI's Andy Nichols takes a look at the free agent relievers and how they might fit with the Indians this offseason and fill a need for the team.
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!