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Match with the Rays?

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Match with the Rays?

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:35 pm

Talking with a few friends about the slow offseason and about other teams and their needs/salary restraints and thought of a possible scenario with the Rays. A bit of a crazy idea though.....

The Rays are being said to have interest in Giambi, Dunn, Burrell, and Dye possibly for RF and/or DH. Both guys are pricy (and Dye costs prospects). They are talkign about a righty in RF to platoon with Gabe Gross as another possibility (Blake perhaps?).

But could the Tribe matchup and fill needs for a LOT cheaper?

What about Choo, Shoppach, and Zach Jackson for Andy Sonnanstine, Jeff Niemann, and Brignac?


Choo could slide into RF for them. Yeah he's a lefty, but they really wouldn't need to platoon since he still hits well against lefties. They can use Gross as a 4th OFer then (and don't have to bring back Baldelli, saving more money). Shoppach can DH and then split time with Navarro behind the plate. Shoppach in a non-full season put up 20 HRs. Probably will fall back a bit next year but still has loads of power and will only be entering his first year of arbitration (will get less than $2M likely). Zach Jackson would be a solid lefty in the pen and long reliever (basically taking Niemann's spot).

Tribe would get Sonnanstine to be our #3 starter, which frees up a spot for Price in the Rays rotation. Niemann makes over $1M and won't see any rotation time in TB. That's a lot for a long reliever. For Cleveland he can start in AAA and be an option for the #5 spot or long relief. Brignac had a down year and is now behind Beckman for the future SS job in TB. Tribe needs some depth on the IF and could really use him even if he starts at AAA.

Fills both teams needs while not breaking the bank for either club (something both teams could use as well). Tribe could possibly throw in a reliever such as Jeff Stevens to sweeten the pot for the Rays and switch Garko in for Shoppach.

Tribe gives up a lot....but fills the rotation need and gets another righty starter with potential. We also get a nice SS that could possibly start in the ML right now......possibly opening up another trade chip to the Orioles for Brian Roberts. We can then throw Brignac and either Niemann or one of our lefties such as Laffey or Huff along with another mid-level prospect at them.....they asked for Carmona and Cabrera.....but this may be enough to get them listening and agree.


Thoughts????
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby TheWord » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:14 pm

Why would Brignac start at SS in the MLB right now?

Hit has been progressively worse at the plate since A+ and only managed OBP's of .328 at AA in 07 and .299 at AAA in 2008.

I am not really a fan of Neimann either, I would probably take Wade Davis instead, but the Rays have the opportunity to get a better player than Choo for much less than what they would be giving up here, so it really only makes sense for the Indians.
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:27 pm

The issue for the Rays is money, even more so than the Tribe. They reportedly are lookign to move Chad Bradford and his $3.5M becasue money is tight. Their payroll is set to increase over $15M from last year when they had one of the smallest in all of baseball.

They may get a better player than Choo, but NOT for less than they're giving up here. They're giving up a long reliever, a #4 starter, and a minor league SS......for a ML corner OFer, a catcher with 20-HR power, and a long reliver........seems to almost make more sense for the Rays......

I'd take Wade Davis instead of Niemann in a heartbeat as well, but no way in hell would the Rays give him up.

And Brignac could start in the ML right now because of his advanced defense. SS is the position where offense is needed the least, especially on a team that isn't expecting to compete (such as the Orioles).
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby TheWord » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:01 pm

To be fair, I wouldn't call Choo a starting ML corner outfielder until he proves his worth in more than just half a season. To think he's going to relive his OPS over 1 in the 2nd half last year is a little presumptuous and teams aren't going to be fooled by it. Shoppach I feel is overrated by some because of his high strikeout rate and the fact his arm went to sh-- last season, lets not forget they just locked up their starting catcher, so Shoppach is nothing more than a backup in TB. Zach Jackson is a long reliever in AAA, dude just doesn't have much good you can say about him, and is nothing more than filler.

Sonnanstine is a solid #3 and Neimann is probably their 3rd best pitching prospect along with their best middle infield prospect. That is certainly a lot to give up for a guy with one half season of great play, a backup catcher and minor league filler.

It all depends on how you look at our prospects and how they fit their needs, and only Choo is a good fit for that team right now, and they're intelligent enough not to trade for him with one half season of good play and a military commitment on the horizon.
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby jellis » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:12 pm

no for both sides. TB would not want to give up 2 top specs for a 7th arm in the pen a C, on arb when they have a good one and an OF who si far from prove. Plus every team would discount CHoo cause of his mandatory military service.

Why would the Indians say no? Sonnanstine is good but not great arm, Neimann is shaky as a starter and can not work in the pen reports on him make it sounds liek it takes for ever for him to warm up before games. Brignac has declined every year and hit a point where even though there was a hole TB decided not to use him as a SS.

As an Indians fan I would hate this deal if it happened
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:28 pm

He's a starter. Not a star but a starter. All he has to do is have an OPS around .800, which is very doable for him. Plus he's about $14M cheaper than Dunn or Burrell will be....


I don't think Shoppach is that overrated. He is what he is. an decent backstop (not great) with very good power....and not a lot else. And if you'd have read my original post more carefully, it shows that the Rays would likely use Shoppach as their starting DH and backup catcher.

Navarro (their young catcher) has not been locked up. He's arbitration eligible just like Shoppach in that regards. Navarro started 117 games behind the plate. Will likely be around 120-125 next year. Shoppach would be a great backup for the other 40 games and then DH and be a great right-handed power bat (and again, CHEAP) behind Upton and Pena. Also, Shoppach and Navarro had nearly identical OBP's this year (.348 vs .349), while Shoppach had a much higher SLG. So even with all the strikeouts, Shoppach was the better hitter (though in a bit less playing time).

As far as Niemann....he was ranked their 7th best pitching prospect (10th overall) by Baseball America a few weeks ago. He's also making over $1M next year as I said. He'll be in the bullpen and doesn't figure to be in their long term plans as a starter with Price and Davis ranked higher.

Brignac also isn't their highest rated infield prospect. Tim Beckman is, who just so happens to play the same position as Brignac (shortstop). He's also being blocked at the ML level by Bartlett who was voted the team's MVP last season.

Jackson is also more than a AAA long reliever. He's easily a AAA starter and would make a pretty decent lefty in the pen (Tribe will likely use him here if not traded this winter). They let Trevor Miller go this winter and will have a need here.


Shoppach actually fills their biggest need, which is a right-handed hitting DH/power hitter. Choo is a bonus for RF and can also be platooned some with Perez after he gets a bit more seasoning at AAA.


Sonnanstine is their #4 pitcher (Kazmir, Garza, and Shields are their 1-3), and Price could easily be their #4 bumping him back to #5. He's expendable if the right amount is given up. From the Mets they were said to be looking at Aaron Heilman plus something else. Unless that 'extra' is Fernando Martinez, Tribe tops is easily with this offer.
Last edited by Hermie13 on Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:37 pm

I agree somewhat Jellis....but a VERY similar deal was made with the Indians and Red Sox a few years ago.

For Crisp (a projected 4th OFer that had 1 good year, followed by a breakout year), Bard (a backup catcher), and David Riske (a so-so reliever) the Tribe got Andy Marte (the Sox #1 overall prospect and top 25 in all of baseball), Kelly Shoppach (their #7 prospect), Mota (a so-so reliever), Randy Newsom (ok relief prospect), and cash.

Deal was made because the Red Sox had a need in CF and had a stacked top 10 farm system (so losing 2 in the top 7 wasn't a big loss).

Yeah Marte hasn't panned out, but Shoppach has exceeded expectations.

Rays need a RFer, DH, and to watch their payroll. They'd accomplish all of this without giving up anything they'd need to compete again in 2009. A rotation for them of Kazmir, Shields, Garza, Price, and Jackson is still one of the best in the league. Bullpen would substitute Zach Jackson in for Niemann then be the same. Niemann has better stuff, but like you said isn't the best fit in the pen, plus not a lefty like Jackson.


Tribe does give up a lot....but we fill some needs plus we too save money. Could go splurge on Dunn or make a trade for Roberts.....


Don't see the deal actually happening as I originally put it.....but there is a decent fit with us and the Rays.....
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby TheWord » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:54 pm

I was under the impression the Rays were moving Upton to right and playing Perez in center.
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:59 pm

Not likely in 2009. Perez is ok....but he could use more time in AAA. Their were some reports they may platoon him in RF with Gross though (or maybe he'd play CF those games and Upton in RF). They will likely move Upton to RF in a couple years once Desmond Jennings is ready to take over CF.

Perez does bring a ton of speed and has pretty solid plate discipline. He could force himself into the lineup.....but as it stands now (at least from reports online, which could be totally bogus you never know), the Rays are looking at acquiring a RFer....
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby jellis » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:31 pm

More and more Dunn might sign for 8-10 mil, the market is barren thanks to the economy with things down this year if the indians were ever going to splurge this is the year. I am a big Dunn guy I know his BA is horrid, but I am an OBP guy. If you put Dunn in the 5 or 6 hes a nice hitter thanks to the walks and power
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:05 am

hmm, I'm not sure Dunn falls that low. Originally I was thinking a 3ry/$55M deal...but I agree, it'll come down. Still think he's gonna get $13-14M per year. He'll use Hafner deal as a starting point and want more even with the economy/market as it is. Still though, with some smart moves, that's doable for us.

Not so sure even $10M is that doable for the Rays though.....but Dunn would be a GREAT fit for them.....
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby jellis » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:08 pm

Hermie13 wrote:hmm, I'm not sure Dunn falls that low. Originally I was thinking a 3ry/$55M deal...but I agree, it'll come down. Still think he's gonna get $13-14M per year. He'll use Hafner deal as a starting point and want more even with the economy/market as it is. Still though, with some smart moves, that's doable for us.

Not so sure even $10M is that doable for the Rays though.....but Dunn would be a GREAT fit for them.....


the economy is killing teams right now, I have read multiple sources who say guys like dunn wont get 8 figure deals, its just the way things are in this state of finical trouble. The Indians attendance took a hit last year and I think it will be ever worse this year and teams are bracing for hits to attendance
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:05 am

Where are you reading that about Dunn? Just curious....
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby jellis » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:33 pm

Hermie13 wrote:Where are you reading that about Dunn? Just curious....


Buster Olney is the big source for it, he has commented in multiple articles that dunn looks like he will get only 7 figures per year
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:37 pm

hmm....interesting.....

Well if he's only gonna get $9M I'd be ALL over that if I were Shapiro. I'd actually rather give Dunn $9-10M than Furcal (who turned down $8M a year from the A's)....
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby jellis » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:42 pm

Hermie13 wrote:hmm....interesting.....

Well if he's only gonna get $9M I'd be ALL over that if I were Shapiro. I'd actually rather give Dunn $9-10M than Furcal (who turned down $8M a year from the A's)....



yeah was a bit suprised to see the Indians might be pursuing Furcal, I really dont want Furcal who has a bad history of injury and is a very inconssitent hitter, plus bats moving from the NL always scare me a little
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Re: Match with the Rays?

Postby jellis » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:44 pm

And the prices in the corner outfield market are collapsing. There had been talk during the summer of Adam Dunn's getting $15 million a year this winter, but now his salary range might be little more than half of that. Pat Burrell might be looking at a situation where he could take a one-year deal with a good team, like the Rays. If the Giants ever got serious about Ramirez, they might balk at the talk of the $25 million salary, because as one GM said Wednesday, "For that, the Giants could probably sign Abreu and Burrell and have money left over.

from olney column last week
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