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Storylines: Antonetti speaks about Indians' plans

Cleveland might be buyers at this season's trade deadline, according to GM

Storylines: Antonetti speaks about Indians' plans
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti (Photo credit: Sports Radio Interviews)
July 13, 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.

Here are the stories from Sunday, July 13th.

Tribe News

  • General manager Chris Antonetti spoke to reporters on Sunday and said that the team could look to require a starting pitcher, but only if they see it as a true upgrade over what they already have.  Antonetti also spoke about if the team will be buyers or sellers at the deadline: “We’re exploring a lot of different things, opportunities to improve our team for the balance of this season and then position us better moving forward, too.  We’ve spent a lot of energy on fits for acquiring guys that we’d have control over beyond this year, not just guys that would just be here for the balance of the year.”
  • Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweeted that the Indians could possibly look to transition recently acquired lefty Nick Maronde into a starting role.

News and Notes

  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the Marlins have received calls recently about the availability of Giancarlo Stanton, but Miami general manager Dan Jennings said Stanton will not be traded.
  • Cafardo also wrote that the Red Sox are beginning to receive calls on first baseman Mike Napoli, but Boston is not expected to deal him.
  • Also relating to Boston, Cafardo reported that the club will have over $72 million coming off the books this offseason and will have the payroll flexibility to get back into contention.
  • According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Giants appear the favorite to land Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist in a trade this summer.
  • The Braves announced that they have suspended Dan Uggla for one game, but the specifics of the suspension were not said.
  • Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote that the biggest trade piece for the Padres is starter Ian Kennedy, but the team is not eager to deal him right now.
  • The Yankees designated righty Matt Daley for assignment for the second time this season.  The team also outrighted reliever Jim Miller to Triple-A.
  • The White Sox released reliever Henry Rodriguez, who was just recently signed to a Minor League deal.
  • Baltimore released former Giants first-round pick Tim Alderson. The righty had a 6.12 ERA in 50 innings at Triple-A Norfolk.
  • The Rockies released reliever Manny Corpas, who requested the move to pursue other opportunities.

User Comments

GSon
July 14, 2014 - 8:10 PM EDT
@homer.. You're right..in many ways we're just stating the same kind of response but from very slightly different perspectives.. Championship goal.. playoff goal.. big move.. any move.. all along the same lines: Getting to and winning in October..

Inre Bartolo... Pass.. The Indians have equal to or better than him already.. The Mets have ALWAYS been a VERY POOR TRADING PARTNER..

Inre Road Trip: .500 on the road.. win series after series at home.. that's what keeps a team contending.. That's what the Indians need to do on this roadie.. If they come back at of near .500..it's a BIG W !!!

Inre Van Slyke: You're right.. he's cheap.. His splits aren't all that eye popping this year ( or any year, for that matter.. he's an all around kind of hitter).. What is eye popping is that he gets on base.. a lot..he plays all three OF spots and he has some pop.. depending on the deal.. he could be an add in..
C L Who
July 14, 2014 - 4:05 PM EDT
Even the best teams play around .600 over the season as a whole. For the remaining 68 games, that is 41 - 27 for the Tribe, which adds up to 88 wins. That might be enough.

A guy that can help this team right now is Scott van Slyke, who is blocked in LA, but can hit with power, is right handed, and cheap.
Homer
July 14, 2014 - 2:27 PM EDT
The Mets have reportedly made Bartolo Colon available. Might the Tribe be interested?
Homer
July 14, 2014 - 12:55 PM EDT
Walter,

Agreed, they have to have a winning road trip. Not too concerned with MN, but Detroit series and KC series might be the playoffs for the Tribe. Big implications in both series.
Walter
July 14, 2014 - 12:33 PM EDT
If the Indians do not have a winning road trip coming up through the division of the Tigers, Twins and Royals, I see no point of being buyers. I think there are to many players on this team having bad years and that a major trade would not improve this team a lot.

Need to go 7-4. My prediction is 4-7

Homer
July 14, 2014 - 11:19 AM EDT
GSon,

Poor wording on my part. Btw, I think you already know this, but I'm all about developing home grown talent, identifying talent... prospects, FA, trades, whatever all with the idea of supplementing the team.

Completely agree, adding talent to put them "over the top" hasn't worked out so well for the Tribe, Price is a bit different than the norm, but his price (prospect pkg) may be too high for the Tribe. But I think he'd be a tremendous add, it's more likely they look for a MOR arm that's an obvious improvement, but not a big-tine add. What's the point, if they aren't a improvement.

Overall, I'd rather see them make moves to win a championship, than strive for mediocrity. Unless, they improve and that could from performance they are the later.
GSon
July 14, 2014 - 10:59 AM EDT
@Homer.. They don't play for the WC.. they play to get into October baseball.. If that's a WC.. or a division championship.. it doesn't matter as the Indians have to win the games they have to win to progress to late in October.. Making a bolder move isn't exactly something the Indians do very well or very often.. It's more of a hit and hope in that regard.. They've made their best trades when you consider an add in player or the player to be named later. They become the stars (Cliff Lee/Grady Sizemore or Michael Brantley).. and lately, Yan Gomes (who besides Chris Antonetti could see him coming?).. This is just a guess, as the "move" that the Indians will make has yet to be revealed, however, imho, a deal with the Dodgers for your suggested Asdrubal, even though I wouldn't like it could become the next three Yan Gomes.. we shall see
Homer
July 14, 2014 - 10:24 AM EDT
GSon,

I think playing for the WC is the wrong move. I would rather target the Division lead, if they feel that's in play - go after it, it will take a bold move, IMO but it is not out of reach. IF they land WC spot instead so be it. But I think it's better to target the division, with 68 games remaining. To get to to the division lead it will take a bigger move / better improvement. Let me put it this way, I'm not into making the playoffs to bow out. If they do, it should be with a club that could win it all...I don't see that with this club, but there are some key pieces in place, that with the right additions (Price, Zobrist, J.Russell, Soria) in place it could go deep into the playoffs, IMO.

Tondo
July 14, 2014 - 9:32 AM EDT
The Maronde pickup was a good buy low move and should not have cost much if anything. His addition to the 40 should put Barnes and Hagadone on notice.

I still think the Indians should try to land Price and would be willing to part with a lot of specs not named Lindor. Give em whatever they want and protect Lindor. Gives you a chance to win this and next season too.

Another under the radar player the Indians should be considering is Eric Campbell from the Mets. He is a 1B/3B blocked by David Wright and Duda and the Mets have played him at OF/2B too to get him in the lineup. He is a 27yo rookie and does not have much power, but he's a good hitter with a good eye that can play multiple positions and his contract is controllable. Oh, and he mashes LHP. Not sure the Mets want to move him at all, but his value won't get any higher if they keep him as luxury bench player. Worth asking for him in any discussion about one of their pitchers
Gson
July 14, 2014 - 8:57 AM EDT
@Homer... closer to the division than the WC?.. well.. There are two teams ahead of the Indians in the chase for the last WC spot (currently held by the Mariners).

-The Mariners.. are a seriously flawed team that will get to see their brains beaten about by two of the best three or four teams in the AL right now.. The Angels and the Athletics....

-The Royals are a division opponent that the Indians will have plenty of opportunities to take down..

-The Jays, are in full flame out mode.. It will be a surprise if the Jays finish above .500 this season.

Simply stated, the Yankees, who are tied with the Indians are a more dangerous opponent than anyone ahead of them.. IDK why you'd strong disagree.. makes little sense.. You are right about the Tigers.. The series that starts this coming Friday could be critical to the Tribe if they want to stay ahead of the Yankees...
GSon
July 14, 2014 - 8:50 AM EDT
Antonetti's comments reveal nothing.. The classic answer by a GM: We are looking into what will make the team better now or later. Well, Gollleeee Mr Wizard.. I would hope so..

Nick Maronde.. all through his brief time in the Angels minor leagues, the one thing that seemed to be static with Maronde was his presence and demeanor on the hill.. He's got the "it" factor.. He came out of Gator-land with a reputation for being able to put his low 90's FB and slider right where he wanted.. well, what happened?. Perhaps, stretching him out will force him to focus on his mechanics thereby getting back to being able to command and control where his pitches go..At least that's the plan for now.. This is a good low risk/high return kind of signing..

We shall see...
Homer
July 14, 2014 - 8:06 AM EDT
Ron V.,

I strongly disagree, the Tribe can't bank on the WC spot. It's a shorter distance to the Division than the wild card. There are five other teams with similar or better records in contention for he WC spots and that is excluding current division leaders.

The big addition for the Tribe will likely be one of Danny Salazar or Justin Masterson. But don't overlook Zach McAllister, if he continues to pitch as he started the season (early) and most recently against the CWS, the Tribe could really make things interesting down the stretch.

Personally, I think a lot comes down to this end of the week series against the Tigers and later this month against the Royals. Regardless, I think the Tribe should be open to moving ACab for a young SP. IF they can get a qlty prospect / near ready arm and a second younger SP / qlty BP arm I think they should make the move. Honestly, I don't see a huge drop off in bringing up Sellers or JRam over the remainder of the season. I'm not advocating dumping ACab, it would take a qlty return. I don't think the Tribe loses much in production, but with Michael Bourn down Aviles' versatility useful.
Ron Vollmar
July 14, 2014 - 7:29 AM EDT
It is the wild card. The idea is to get to the playoffs. The distance is 3 1/2 games.

The schedule for the Indians is a bet better the second half of the season. I doubt that they will win the last 10 games of the season, but, if they had a good road trip right after the break.

There are 60+ games left. If they straighten out their rotation with a healthy Masterson and Salazar, these could be difference makers.

It is wishul thinking, but, there are possibilities.
Homer
July 14, 2014 - 6:24 AM EDT
The Tribe has liked Nick Maronde since he was drafted in 2011. The Angels rushed him to the bigs, he's been ineffective but if the Tribe slows things down for him working specifically on his control he could be a nice under the radar pickup. He does have SP experience, but I don't see him as a SP long term.

It's hard to see the Tribe as buyers right now, 8 games back with 68 to play makes for a very difficult opportunity. They did finish the second half very strong last season, so there is always hope.

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