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MLB News and Notes: Ayala drawing interest from Indians

MLB News and Notes: Ayala drawing interest from Indians
January 4, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

With no major signings or trades occurring on Friday, there are no "Top Stories." Instead, I will give a rundown of all of the day's news and notes.

Here are the stories from Friday, January 3rd.

News and Notes

  • The Indians along with the Tigers and Orioles have been linked to free agent reliever Luis Ayala.  MLBTradeRumors.com reports that Ayala is looking for a Major League deal.
  • The Phillies new TV deal with Comcast SportsNet is for 25 years and $2.5 billion.
  • Tim Dierks of MLBTradeRumors.com tweeted that Carlos Marmol could sign in the near future, with at least three teams interested in a Major League deal with the reliever.
  • The Orioles signed outfielder Quintin Berry to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training.
  • According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds GM Walt Jocketty has said the team is unlikely to make any big moves this winter.  Jocketty told Fay that they do not have the money to sign any major free agents.  MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon said that the Reds have talked to former Indian star Grady Sizemore.
  • Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald wrote that the Red Sox are unlikely to trade or acquire a starting pitcher before the beginning of Spring Training.  Lauber also says Boston will not attempt to sign Masahiro Tanaka.
  • Jeff Sullivan of the USS Mariner reported that the Mariners want to add a top-notch pitcher to go along with their signing of Robinson Cano.  Sullivan says Seattle’s pursuit of Tanaka “could get wild.”

User Comments

Giambino
January 5, 2014 - 2:00 PM EST
i'm tired of this small market BS, the ownes have plenty of money they just choose not to spend it on players.
Hiram
January 4, 2014 - 8:52 PM EST
Walter,

I agree with you on the bullpen and the rotation. I think the Indians will add a piece or two but even if they didn't they are fine. I don't understand why ppl think this rotation is weak when it's not. I think the bullpen is also loaded but adding another piece wouldn't hurt the depth. I also think the Indians will add another INF player to platoon at 3B if they aren't sure about Santana.

I guess I'm saying the Indians are pretty much ready to go to battle because roster is pretty much set. What I like about them is that they are deep and can withstand injuries and poor performance which is mandatory when you consider the long season
Walter
January 4, 2014 - 8:43 PM EST
With so many FA still on the market, I think the next 3 weeks might be busier than at the winter meetings, I wonder how many FA still could be available when spring training starts. Once Tanaka domino falls I guess the rest of starting pitching market should go.

If the Indians sign Ayala that would add strength to the bullpen. That might be a good thing since everyone feels that Indians rotation seems week. I think the rotation is better shape than last year.
Hiram
January 4, 2014 - 8:15 PM EST
JHGrimm,

Alot of it has to do with leaky nipples
JHGrimm
January 4, 2014 - 7:28 PM EST
The #4's McAllister. I'm fine with that.

The fifth starter's in question - I don't think anyone would deny that. This does not mean that I think Bauer, Carrasco, Tomlin, or Marcum is incapable, merely that the question's not yet been answered. I suspect at least one of them can take the job and do it admirably, I'm just not sure who that is. As I said, there are questions, but those questions may well have optimistic answers. Hard to tell before spring training.

I'm high on Bauer largely because I think there might be something behind those positive reports. If he were still, truly struggling, I don't think there would be any comments from the organization regarding his progress unless they were going to trade him. Hence, any news is good news, as far as I'm concerned.
Hiram
January 4, 2014 - 7:06 PM EST
JHGrimm,

Is it that the #4 or #5 spot in the rotation is a question or the guys we do have need to given a chance to fill it? I think we have guys that are more than capable and just need a chance. Not to go into a soapbox but the one thing about MLB that I don't like is that if you're proven with a long track record than you're a question. Keep in mind that the season is very long and if you have talent it usually comes out more often than not.


In saying that the talent of Carrasco, Bauer Tomlin and track record of success is more than enough IMO. If you disagree with this then fine, you're certainly entitled to do so and I will respect that opinion. On the other thing, don't see how you can say you have more faith in Bauer than Pestano who is clearly one of the better setup in MLB as opposed to a guy who struggled with command, delivery at the MLB level and in AAA last year. Pestano had a bad year but deserves the benefit of the doubt whereas, Bauer is trying to get there
JHGrimm
January 4, 2014 - 6:36 PM EST
It seems I've not made myself clear. Apologies.

That an unsettled pitching staff might be better than our offense wasn't supposed to reflect that our offense will be bad - to the contrary, it's more that I believe it reflects /positively/ on the pitching staff in place. I'm really high on both our bullpen and 1-3 starters, and ZMac's a reasonably good 4. Our fifth starter has some questions, certainly, but it's unlikely to be a genuine hole.

I believe we agree on 2014 projections, I think, even though I do worry about Pestano - in fact, I have more faith in Bauer than Pestano at this point, partially reflecting my lack of expectations for Pestano and my hopes regarding Bauer's potentially-fixed mechanics.
Robert
January 4, 2014 - 5:49 PM EST
I agree with Hiram that this is a solid team with little room to add, as is. That doesn't mean things couldn't change quite a bit between now and spring training. Adding another veteran BP arm, or two, seems like a no brainier to me.
Hiram
January 4, 2014 - 2:41 PM EST
JHGrimm,

I think you've missed the point. No it's no guarantee that Pestano makes the team because of his season last year. I don't think it has anything to do with being a Super two though. I think if Pestano doesn't make the team it will be because of his performance. The point in me saying this and bringing this up is the fact that the Indians are more than deep enough to withstand injuries and poor performance. They have guys in the farm system that can come up and do the job.


I don't get your unsettled pitching staff comment. The pitching staff that I know of and highlighted is far from unsettle and appears to have maybe one spot available in the bullpen, depending on how many they want to keep. I don't get where you were going with this comment and would like for you to explain.


I again don't share your views on the everyday lineup. Is it star studded as some others- No but it should be solid from top to bottom and could use MAYBE another role player.

It seems as though some take a negative view on the Tribe for some reason instead of looking at the entire team because if you did the words that comes to mind would be SOLID, DEEP
JHGrimm
January 4, 2014 - 1:28 PM EST
I don't think it's a given that Pestano's in the bullpen to start the year. The argument that he will certainly start the year in Cleveland is that the entire AAA stint at the end of 2013 was just to keep him from Super 2 status - this is a viewpoint that seems to gloss over Pestano's very real, tangible struggles. Therefore, it seems that only five bullpen spots are genuinely guaranteed.

So, as for the rest of the roster, we have: Swish, Kip, Asdrubal, Chisenhall, Aviles, Gomes, Santana, Murphy, Raburn, Bourn, Brantley, and Giambi - 12 position players.

This leaves room for 13 pitchers - 5 starters, 8 relievers. Given the five you've just listed, this leaves three open spots and far more candidates than open positions. Add in the (current) lack of separation among the Federated States of Marcauerrascomlin, and you have a wildly unsettled pitching staff contrasted with a totally locked-in lineup.

The really interesting thing about the whole situation is that, despite the uncertainty surrounding Indians pitchers, there's reason to believe that the hurlers will be the ones carrying this team in 2014.
Hiram
January 4, 2014 - 10:48 AM EST
My Indians pitching staff:

Masterson
Carrasco
Kluber
Salazar
McAllister

Bullpen:
Rzepczynski
Outman
Pestano
Shaw
Allen
Axford

I hope they can add Ayala and the Indians still have Price, Lee, Soto, Crockett, Hagadone(he can't find the plate). Starters include Bauer, Tomlin, House, Packer, Marcum(maybe).

This team is unspectacular but very, very solid and is built to withstand the rigors of a long MLB season. This team is deep and can go toe to toe with anyone. I would try to get another hitter to platoon with Lonnie at 3B and hope Aguilar continues to progress because his bat will be a nice add later on in the season with weariness starts to take over. I would also use Aviles in a role to spell Kipnis more so he won't wear down in the 2nd half of the season like he has been. This is a primary reason I am against using 13 pitchers and I hope they reverse course on this
Hiram
January 4, 2014 - 10:05 AM EST
Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are my sleepers for the Indians to start the season along with Bauer later on.


Carrasco gets his confidence back, listens to Mickey and realizes his awesome potential he will be the ace of the staff before they year is out. I went back and looked at his Game Logs in '11 before the injury and at times he was flat out DOMINANT. I see a 15-18 game winner if he puts it all together because we know the talent, stuff is there.


Tomlin is the guy I like because it's apparent that his command is back after the injury. He was on his way to becoming a stalwart in the rotation before he got hurt. If he is healthy then we will see a 12-14 game winner and be like Bronson Arroyo, IMHO.
Hiram
January 4, 2014 - 9:25 AM EST
League Park,

Keep in mind the Indians played those teams they were at the lowest point in the season when they went thru that period in which they lost eight in a row. This is a very solid team top to bottom and one that is built to withstand the long season
LeaguePark
January 4, 2014 - 8:36 AM EST
Tribe is a WS contender? You've got to be kidding me. Their record vs good teams last year was a true sign that they are not contenders. Not only did they lose to teams like Detroit, NYY and Boston they were also outscored by a wide margin.

They will never win a WS with this current joke of a system. If the Cleveland owner had any guts, he would publicly denounce the lack of a salary cap and MLB's wish to have big market teams win all the time.
Hiram
January 4, 2014 - 8:14 AM EST
Luis Ayala would be a solid add to an already potentially stacked bullpen. I do want to see what Pestano can do and see if he's going to bounce back. I want to see CC Lee too and if he has a nice ST then he should make the team(you develop these guys and now it's time to give them a chance to pitch)

I think the Indians will add 2-3 players up til free agency to add depth to the roster but for the most part this team is pretty solid and can beat anyone. IMO, the Indians are indeed a WS contender



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