IBI Digest: 12/8/13 - 11/14/13
Recapping the week on Indians Baseball Insider
'Tis the season for chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at our noses and of course the MLB Winter Meetings. As general managers, coaches and players converge on Orlando to discuss trades and free agent signings as the offseason kicks into high gear. What's on the Indians to-do list this year? The IBI staff analyzes the latest Tribe news and rumors as well as the major stories elsewhere in baseball regarding Hot Stove activity. Also, Jesus Aguilar appears to have found his stride again in Winter Ball and Carlos Santana makes his debut at thrid base.
Here's what happened this week on IBI:
2013 Rule 5 Draft preview: With the Rule 5 Draft upcoming, Tony Lastoria lists all the Tribe players eligible and their likelihood of being selected.
Coach's Corner '13: Double-A Akron hitting coach Jim Rickon: In this edition of Coach's Corner, Tony Lastoria goes one on one with Akron hitting coach Jim Rickon to discuss the success and/or regression of players to play at the AA level in 2013.
Around the Farm: December 7, 2013: Jesus Aguilar seems to be coming out of his slump as he hit his third homer in five games. Also, Tyler Sturdevant and Toru Murata each pitched quality outings. Tony Lastoria recaps all the highlights.
MLB News and Rumors: Pre-Winter Meetings rumors: With nothing major to report on Saturday, Andy Nichols focuses on the latest rumors from the Hot Stove.
Plenty of movement at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario: It's been a busy offseason thus far around Major League Baseball, but the Indians haven't quite gotten in on the party, but is that necessarily a bad thing. Jim Pete believes the Indians are in a good position to have a productive offseason.
Tribe Madness: Dunn Field Region semi-finals results: As Tribe Madness has now reached the semi-final stage, the tournament field becomes more narrow. Rick Lamborn recaps the latest matchups from the Dunn Field Region.
Around the Farm: December 8, 2013: It was a quiet day in Winter Ball as the only action for the Tribe came from the Land Down Under. Infield prospect Ryan Battaglia had his first multi-hit game of the campaign, including a homer. Otherwise, Arthur Kinney checks in on some old friends of the Indians and Lake Erie Crushers pitcher Mickey Jannis.
MLB News and Rumors: Dysfunction in Seattle?: Due to a slow news day on the Hot Stove market, Andy Nichols runs down the latest rumors and also shares an article featuring quotes from former Mariners manager Eric Wedge about the possible 'dysfunction in the Mariners front office'.
Indians Winter Meetings Preview: Pitching is key: As general managers, coaches, players and reporters all gather in Orlando Florida to kick off the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings, Jim Berdysz has a preview of who the Indians could be interested in to help their pitching staff both on the trade and free agent market.
Tribe Happenings: Managing expectations at the Winter Meetings: What is the gameplan for Chris Antonetti and the Indians this offseason and how high should fan expectations be? After an exciting offseason last year, should we expect more of the same this year? Tony Lastoria speculates in his weekly notebook.
Winter Meetings Recap: Indians resign Cooper, talk to Balfour: As the first day of the Winter Meetings comes to a close, the Indians made a lesser move in re-signing first baseman David Cooper to a big league contract and also talked with free-agent closer Grant Balfour as they look to bolster the back of their bullpen. Tony Lastoria reports.
Around the Farm: December 9, 2013: It was another quiet night for the Tribe in the offseason leagues as Carlos Moncrief and Brett Brach down in Puerto Rico were the only current prospects in action on Monday. Moncrief struggled at the plate once again while Brach pitched a rare shutout inning. Michael Hattery recaps the box score for both players.
Swinging for the Fences: Two Tribe hurlers ready to make good: Despite long tenures with the Tribe, Josh Tomlinand Frank Herrmann still waiting to find their niche. Jake Dungan looks at the history of both pitchers with the Indians and how they may be poised to each make significant impacts with the Tribe in 2014 in his weekly column.
Indians Winter Meetings Rumors: Looking for an impact bat: As the Winter Meetings roll on, Jim Berdysz looks at who on the market could help the Tribe from an offensive standpoint as they search for another impact bat.
Winter Meetings Recap: Indians listening on Masterson, Cabrera: As Day 2 of the Winter Meetings is now in the books, the Indians have been rumored to be willing to listen to trade offers for Asdrubal Cabrera and Justin Masterson. Tony Lastoria recaps all the latest news from the Indians' camp in Orlando.
Around the Farm: December 10, 2013: The RBI Machine is back with a vengeance as he collected three hits, cracked two homers and racked up five RBI in a very exciting night in Venezuela. Erik Gonzalez also posted a multi-hit performance as his strong Winter Ball campaign continues. Arthur Kinney has all the action.
Trading Justin Masterson at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario: After word got out earlier this week that the Indians may be willing to listen to trade offers for their ace Justin Masterson, fans have begun to wonder what the team really has in mind this offseason. Jim Pete speculates whether these suspicions are ill-founded or legitimate concerns.
Winter Meetings Recap: Lots of mixed messages on Masterson: Day 3 is a wrap in Orlando and the Indians have been in the news for trade speculation surrounding their ace Justin Masterson. Tony Lastoria discusses that as well as all the other news and rumors from the Winter Meetings on Wednesday.
Around the Farm: December 11, 2013: Jesus Aguilar appears to have found his second wind this past week as he's been torching Winter Ball pitching once again. Unfortunately, he had the only performance worth highlighting as hitless games and poor pitching plagued the other Tribe prospects in action on Wednesday. Michael Goodman reports.
Trend Spotting: On Michael Bourn, Quick thoughts on pitching: Michael Bourn has been another name brought up in trade speculation so far this offseason, but would the return he brought back in a trade be more valuable than keeping him around? Michael Hattery discusses the value of Bourn in his weekly feature.
Winter Meetings Recap: Indians are hot after a closer: Things have been more active for the Tribe in Orlando on Thursday as they have reportedly made acquiring a closer their top priority at the Winter Meetings. Names such asJohn Axford and Joaquin Benoit have been linked to the Indians and Tony Lastoria has the latest.
Around the Farm: December 12, 2013: Another hit and another RBI for Jesus Aguilar as his newfound hot streak continues. Plus, Erik Gonzalez put together another multi-hit performance while Tyler Sturdevant struck out the only batter he faced.
Tribe Madness: Quicken Loans Region semi-finals results: Mike Garcia and Addie Joss were the winners of the Tribe Madness Quicken Loans Region semi-final matchups. Join Rick Lamborn for a recap of all the highlights.
Brady's striking pro debut brings a lot of hope for his future: Left-hander Sean Brady has made a decent impression since being drafted by the Tribe this season. Tony Lastoria talks with Brady about his first year of pro ball and what he believes his future holds in store.
Around The Farm: December 13, 2013: Jesus Aguilar could be well on his way to breaking the Venezuelan Winter League home run record as he crushed his 17th of the offseason campaign. In other news, Carlos Santana officially made his live-game debut at third base and collected a hit on top of it. Arthur Kinney reports.
MLB News and Rumors: Infante lands in Kansas City: Dayton Moore and the Royals have been one of the more active teams so far this offseason in bringing in additional players via trade or free agency. On Friday, they filled a major void at second base by signing Omar Infante to a four-year deal. Andy Nichols has that and all the latest news and rumors.
The Ultimate Indians Draft: Rounds 30-21: Jeff Ellis continues his analysis of past Indians drafts to construct the ultimate draft. In this installment, he examines the best Tribe picks from rounds 30-21 throughout history.
Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.