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2013 - Doomsday Scenario

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2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby GhostofTedCox » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:35 pm

So ACab signs a 1 year deal today. Now everybody is signed - for this season, and nothing more. Everybody on this board knows that. But I just realized what that means. The Indians "window of opportunity" is 2012 only. I cannot presently visualize how they can hope to contend after that without dramatic changes.

I think the 1st sign of the pending doom will be Ubaldo Jimenez. His option for 2013 is now a players option because he was traded by the Rockies. He will not pick up the option because:
1. It is a ridiculously low price for a SP of his quality. ($5.75M)
2. Why should he agree to stay with the Tribe if they can't commit to any players?

Next ACab, Choo, and R. Perez will all be in ARB3 years. Translation- expensive. Since it's not likely they can do a long term deal with these players, they may be trade bait next off season, or during 2013.

I think we can all agree that 2012 will be the last for Travis Hafner in a Tribe uniform. His $13M option will not be picked up. The good news is that whoever the next DH is, he will probably also be able to play the field.

Sizemore in 2012 will either be a hit or a flop. Either way, he's gone in 2013.

As for Carmona/Fernandez; I'm guessing he does not play in 2012, and the Indians certainly won't pick up his $9M option for 2013.

So to recap, in 2013 we need to replace:
FOR SP, SS, RF, CF, DH, and more.
We all also realize there is no upper level talent in the Indians system to replace these people.

So this leaves the 2013 Indians front office with quite a mess. The present front office/ownership has to know what they are doing, and the hole they are digging.

If this club isn't for sale - they should be !
And if there is new ownership in 2013, they will have no idea what the 2013 payroll will be. Because they will have to shop for a ton of FA. The most expensive and risky way to run a club.
Is this the best way to sell a club?
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby Edible14 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:06 am

1st, I thought the Ubaldo option for 2013 was a team option, and the 2014 option was the one that turned into a player option. That's how it's listed on Tony's chart and at Cot's Baseball Contracts.

I'm not terribly worried about the rotation that year. A lot will have to go wrong for it to be in bad shape. Jimenez and Masterson will be there. Between Tomlin, Slowey, Carrasco, Huff, Gomez, McAllister, Kluber and Barnes, the Indians should be able to put together 2-3 other dependable starters. If not, then things have gone horribly. Similarly, I'm not terribly worried about the bullpen, at least for 2013. I wouldn't even be surprised to see Smith and Raffy traded at some point to save money and maybe get a key piece or two.

The offense is the thing to worry about. Seeing Weglarz or LaPorta step up would do a lot to alleviate those problems at 1b/DH. There's a number of outfielders right now who could potentially replace Grady by then, but they all have significant warts. Carerra isn't an ideal hitter, even for CF. Neal has injury and performance issues the last few years, and would probably be a LF, forcing Brantley to CF where he's not as good defensively. Similar concerns apply to Cunningham and Weglarz. There's an outside shot that some of the less heralded prospects like Huffman, Mills, Canzler, Goedert and Fedroff could be part of the answer.

My immediate thought is that we could end up taking another hard look at Carlos Pena again next year. Berkman, Carlos Lee, Torii Hunter and Nick Swisher are also free agents that could be on the radar. So there should be budget room to sign one solid replacement at one of the three positions (OF, DH, 1B), and maybe a Kotchman-esque solution to another. But I'm thinking at least one of those positions has to be filled by someone from within.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby danh8 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:21 am

If the team isn't for sale, they are selling one hell of a bluff... This is as "no risk" as a team can possibly operate without the incentive to make the franchise look as attractive as possible in terms of longterm monetary commitments. No high demand player that would look to garner a longterm deal would ever consider the Indians with the Dolan's running the show. At least any player with a desire to play for a winning team. I'll say this, the Dolan's run a fiscally responsible franchise. One that guarantees a nice yearly profit, and pretty much as little risk as they can possibly have.

They do have a competant front office, solid scouting, and are a well run franchise. They just have succumbed to the limitations of a small market team and refuse to take a risk that could result in a financial loss. They have come to a conclusion, whether right or wrong, that no matter whether this team wins or loses, fans will not come to the ballpark.

They have basically given up on the Cleveland market as the type market that will support baseball, both from a fan, and corporate level no matter the quality of product they put on the field.

But, I'll say this ...given the financial restraints that ownership has placed on the front office personnel of this team, they have done as good a job as they could possibly do in putting together a team based on pre-free agent eligible kids, and a few fringe vet role players on veteran minimum salaries, or salaries being subsidized by other teams that wanted them off their current rosters. Given those dynamics, they have put together what looks like a team that could compete for a late wild card spot if everything falls perfectly for them...which is about the high side we can expect every fifth or sixth year given how we operate this franchise now.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby Chiefroy » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:53 pm

So if we're not complaining about Hafner, Sizemore, and Carmona being a financial drain on the team, we're complaining about when they will NOT be a financial drain on the team? We need a DH in 2013? Pick up Hafner's option. Solves that problem....feel better? I thought not. Carmona may be back in the country by 2013, we can pick up his option, too. Makes no sense, but we could do it just to please people.

Ubaldo is locked up for 2013. Ascab, Choo, and R. Perez will still be under team control. I'm pretty sure they are talking extension with Cabrera after his 2012 seson. Prior to last year, it would have seemed foolish to lock him up long-term. Same goes for Choo after the season he had last year. He doesn't deserve a longer deal right now, unless we get him at a favorable price. I'm sure his agent is waiting for a better 2012 to talk. And I'm supposed to panic because Rafael Perez is approaching free agency?

"The present front office/ownership has to know what they are doing...." Correct. They're evaluating the players they have and identifying the so-called "core" to lock up for a while. AsCab, Santana, Masterson, Jimenez, Choo, Kipnis, Chisenhall, Brantley are all candidates to extend in the coming year or soon after. 2012 will tell the tale, no need to jump the gun....but the first 4 appear good bets to me, with Choo and Kipnis next, much too soon for Chiz, and Brantley needing to prove it this season. Antonetti has done a good job of finding value plays to add to this team and not crippling us with another bad contract. I would have loved to have signed Prince Fielder, but that contract would have scared the hell out of me. Didn't take Minnesota long to see what throwing ridiculous money at Joe Mauer could do to them.


According to the DiaTriber, Paul Cousineau, the Royals, Pirates, A's, and Padres are all in a similar situation regarding long-term contracts. I doubt they're all setting up some kind of mass team sell.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby theshow » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:37 pm

My thoughts on this franchise going forward are as follows... Our core is all intact through 2013.... this much is clear (originally poster is wrong about Ubaldo). We obviously go for it this year... if for some reason by the trading deadline we have fallen out of the race with the Tigers, I think we need to consider selling off a couple pieces who are late in the arbitration process or in the last year of their deal (Sizemore obviously, and maybe Asdrubal and replace him with Donald). I feel like with the new CBA, where draft pick conpensation is not as valuable, and a depleted farm system the Indians need to be in what I consider the best recipe for small market success: a perpetual state of rebuilding where you never hit rock bottom like the Astros.

If you can put an emphasis on starting pitching (try to lock up Masterson and hang onto Ubaldo), you should be able to be competitive even if you are occasionally losing some lineup players. Cabrara had a career year, and is overrated defensively, so honestly now is the perfect time to sell high. If I were to lock anyone up, I would try to get Masterson signed to an extension. If we let everyone walk after 2013, this team could be bad for many many years to come. You always need to be bringing in high end prospects whenever you get the chance.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby Edible14 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:12 pm

Chiefroy wrote:So if we're not complaining about Hafner, Sizemore, and Carmona being a financial drain on the team, we're complaining about when they will NOT be a financial drain on the team? We need a DH in 2013? Pick up Hafner's option. Solves that problem....feel better? I thought not. Carmona may be back in the country by 2013, we can pick up his option, too. Makes no sense, but we could do it just to please people.


I don't think the worry comes from losing those guys. I think it's more just a worry about who replaces those guys. There should be enough money to bring in a replacement for one or two of them (or maybe just bringing them back on reduced salaries). But the Indians need some young guys to step up and do better than what they're projected to do if they're going to keep being competitive.

As for trading ACab, Choo, etc... if you can get back top-end prospects and the team isn't really in the race... great. Do that sometime around the trading deadline 2013. Cabrera I'm actually not that worried about replacing, given the fact that we have 4 interesting prospects at SS in the org (Paulino, Wolters, Rodriguez and Lindor), and there's a good chance at least one of them could be ready by 2014. I think, though, that if the Indians are competing in 2013, I'd rather offer Choo and ACab arbitration and live with the draft picks instead. Though, with the new arbitration rules, they would only get those picks if they offered those two a one-year contract worth at least the average of the top 125 paid players in baseball (roughly $12.5MM this year, and that was before Pujols, Fielder, etc. were signed)
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby GhostofTedCox » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:40 pm

My point was; looking to replace 4-8 starting players in 1 off season is an imposing task. Just trying to find a 1B this off season was like pulling teeth.

If we wind up trading players like ACab or Choo next off season, I'm sure we will get good prospects for them. But it's not likely they will be major league ready. The only player that was sort of major league ready from the CC, Lee, VMart, and Colon deals was Masterson.

My opinion remains that the only way the Indians can be contenders in 2013 is with a major shift in philosophy or a cash infusion.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby MadThinker88 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:08 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote: My opinion remains that the only way the Indians can be contenders in 2013 is with a major shift in philosophy or a cash infusion.


IF the pitching in 2012 is a repeat or improvement on the performance of 2011, then you will have seen that philosophy shift come to pass.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby indianinkslinger » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:45 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote:My point was; looking to replace 4-8 starting players in 1 off season is an imposing task. Just trying to find a 1B this off season was like pulling teeth.

If we wind up trading players like ACab or Choo next off season, I'm sure we will get good prospects for them. But it's not likely they will be major league ready. The only player that was sort of major league ready from the CC, Lee, VMart, and Colon deals was Masterson.

My opinion remains that the only way the Indians can be contenders in 2013 is with a major shift in philosophy or a cash infusion.

The only philosophy shift that is likely to make that much difference in both areas is for more fans to show at games. Just reaching the median attendance point instead of always being in the bottom tier would make investors/buyers view Cleveland differently. There is no recent evidence that additional cash or philosophy shift would provide any return otherwise. :sorry:
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby Edible14 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:45 am

GhostofTedCox wrote:My point was; looking to replace 4-8 starting players in 1 off season is an imposing task. Just trying to find a 1B this off season was like pulling teeth.


Where did you get 4-8 starters?

Worst case scenario is that we lose Kotchman, Grady, Hafner and Lowe (and Carmona.. but he's kind-of already gone). Everyone else is under control for 2013.

I'm not worried about Lowe. We've got a full set of starters in AAA who are on the 40. One of them should be able to step up and replace him. If they can't, then something has gone horribly wrong. So, to me, there's three spots to replace. And 1 or two of them you can reasonably expect could be filled via free agency. The other... well, somebody has to step up. But that's pretty much always going to be true of this team. We're always going to need young players to play well to contend.

Now, if you're talking 2014... I can see it being an issue. But who knows what will happen between now and then?
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby GhostofTedCox » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:55 am

Edible14 wrote:
GhostofTedCox wrote:My point was; looking to replace 4-8 starting players in 1 off season is an imposing task. Just trying to find a 1B this off season was like pulling teeth.


Where did you get 4-8 starters?

Worst case scenario is that we lose Kotchman, Grady, Hafner and Lowe (and Carmona.. but he's kind-of already gone). Everyone else is under control for 2013.

I'm not worried about Lowe. We've got a full set of starters in AAA who are on the 40. One of them should be able to step up and replace him. If they can't, then something has gone horribly wrong. So, to me, there's three spots to replace. And 1 or two of them you can reasonably expect could be filled via free agency. The other... well, somebody has to step up. But that's pretty much always going to be true of this team. We're always going to need young players to play well to contend.

Now, if you're talking 2014... I can see it being an issue. But who knows what will happen between now and then?


2012 will be Ubaldo's last season in Cleveland. His 2013 option is now a players option because the Rocks traded him. He will not agree to pick it up because it is for a very small amount, (less than $5 million I think). Also why should Ubaldo stay in Cleveland if he doesn't know what type of team we will have because nobody is under contract? He could get a much better deal elsewhere.
Also 2013 will be ACab and Choo's FA year. They may be shopped around after the 2012 season. If so, they need to be replaced for 2013. With nobody in the high minors, I hope we get major league ready players in return, (not likely). I hope there's a plan.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby daingean » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:57 am

I am not concerned......parameters change.....look at when we signed Hafner....a lot were happy he would be around (some cautiously happy) but then his performance tanked....we don't really know till after next off-season....
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:38 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote:2012 will be Ubaldo's last season in Cleveland. His 2013 option is now a players option because the Rocks traded him. He will not agree to pick it up because it is for a very small amount, (less than $5 million I think). Also why should Ubaldo stay in Cleveland if he doesn't know what type of team we will have because nobody is under contract? He could get a much better deal elsewhere.
Also 2013 will be ACab and Choo's FA year. They may be shopped around after the 2012 season. If so, they need to be replaced for 2013. With nobody in the high minors, I hope we get major league ready players in return, (not likely). I hope there's a plan.


Not true. Ubaldo's optoin that switched was his 2014 option. As I said, even if it was his 2013 option that switched he still would be under team control. Ubaldo only had 4+ years of service time. He won't have 6 after the 2012 season so he can't be a free agent similar to how Carmona wouldn't have been a free agent even if we had declined his option (would have been arby eligible...could have non-tendered him though, then making him a free agent).

Only guys that are eligible for free agency after the 2012 on their own are Kotchman, Lowe, and Sizemore (not counting some NRI guys). Hafner obviously will be then too once the Tribe declines his option. Everyone else on the 40-man is under team control past this season.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby GhostofTedCox » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:55 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
GhostofTedCox wrote:2012 will be Ubaldo's last season in Cleveland. His 2013 option is now a players option because the Rocks traded him. He will not agree to pick it up because it is for a very small amount, (less than $5 million I think). Also why should Ubaldo stay in Cleveland if he doesn't know what type of team we will have because nobody is under contract? He could get a much better deal elsewhere.
Also 2013 will be ACab and Choo's FA year. They may be shopped around after the 2012 season. If so, they need to be replaced for 2013. With nobody in the high minors, I hope we get major league ready players in return, (not likely). I hope there's a plan.


Not true. Ubaldo's optoin that switched was his 2014 option. As I said, even if it was his 2013 option that switched he still would be under team control. Ubaldo only had 4+ years of service time. He won't have 6 after the 2012 season so he can't be a free agent similar to how Carmona wouldn't have been a free agent even if we had declined his option (would have been arby eligible...could have non-tendered him though, then making him a free agent).

Only guys that are eligible for free agency after the 2012 on their own are Kotchman, Lowe, and Sizemore (not counting some NRI guys). Hafner obviously will be then too once the Tribe declines his option. Everyone else on the 40-man is under team control past this season.


Thanks for clearing that up Hermie. Nevertheless, if Ubaldo returns to form, he won't be thrilled to play for peanuts. Also, ACab and Choo will be in their FA year. The chances of resigning people once they reach that, is slim and none.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby ACrank » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:13 pm

What happens in 13 depends on what happens this year (no great surprise, i know).

If the team improves upon last year, then they are in a good spot to add players for 13 - either thru free agency or (more than likely) thru trades.

But if they backslide again i'd expect there to be a slight sell off of talent. The question becomes will there be enough talent in control for 13 for the team to try and regroup quickly, or will they go for another extended rebuild?
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:08 pm

ACrank wrote:What happens in 13 depends on what happens this year (no great surprise, i know).

If the team improves upon last year, then they are in a good spot to add players for 13 - either thru free agency or (more than likely) thru trades.

But if they backslide again i'd expect there to be a slight sell off of talent. The question becomes will there be enough talent in control for 13 for the team to try and regroup quickly, or will they go for another extended rebuild?



Not sure this is a 'big issue".. The 2013 Indians have Kotchman, Sizemore, & Lowe becoming free agents. Hafner and Fausto both have club controlled options (even if you don't believe the options will be picked up by the club, it's still the club's decision). Ubaldo has a player option. He may represent the only 'dire emergency' situation, and even then, it's not exactly dire.. The Indian have other pitcher(s) (Carlos Carrasco, Huff, Barnes, Gomez, McAllister, etc) who may be able to replace Ubaldo in the starting rotation. Otherwise, all the other positions can/should be covered with young and talented guys. no?
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby GhostofTedCox » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:43 pm

Choo, ACab, and R Perez will be in their FA years in 2013. If they keep them for the entire season, they risk losing them for nothing (draft picks). You can't put draft picks in your starting lineup.

So Choo and ACab will be on the trading block as soon as the 2012 season is over.
If they were going to sign ACab to an extension, last week was the perfect opportunity. It didn't happen. (Personally I can see him in pinstripes very easily.)
Choo is a Boros client so don't hold your breath on a deal with him.

The problem building a team with multi-year contracts is somebody has to be first. That player wants to look around and see who he will be playing with.

So, no later than the trade deadline of 2013 we will need starting SS, RF, Along with our new 1B, & DH.
It could be a return to the days of Matt Lawton and Ben Broussard. :dunno:
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby Edible14 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:30 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote:Choo, ACab, and R Perez will be in their FA years in 2013. If they keep them for the entire season, they risk losing them for nothing (draft picks). You can't put draft picks in your starting lineup.

So Choo and ACab will be on the trading block as soon as the 2012 season is over.
If they were going to sign ACab to an extension, last week was the perfect opportunity. It didn't happen. (Personally I can see him in pinstripes very easily.)
Choo is a Boros client so don't hold your breath on a deal with him.

The problem building a team with multi-year contracts is somebody has to be first. That player wants to look around and see who he will be playing with.

So, no later than the trade deadline of 2013 we will need starting SS, RF, Along with our new 1B, & DH.
It could be a return to the days of Matt Lawton and Ben Broussard. :dunno:


I can see the Indians offering Choo and ACab arbitration and taking the picks. If they're in contention, I would gladly take whatever downgrade a trade vs. picks gives you for those two in exchange for a chance at winning. Raffy, on the other hand, will be gone after 2013 and likely earlier. Because the Indians would have to offer him a contract worth over $12MM in order to receive compensatory picks under the new CBA.

Again, though, not worried about replacing ACab. 4 of our top prospects play SS, even if they're a few years away. It's not unlikely that Wolters or maybe even Lindor will be ready by then. If not, the Indians can find somebody to be a 1 or 2 year stopgap (Donald?).

The tricky one is Choo. His production will be hard to replace, and the Indians don't have a lot in the OF.
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Re: 2013 - Doomsday Scenario

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:55 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:Not sure this is a 'big issue".. The 2013 Indians have Kotchman, Sizemore, & Lowe becoming free agents. Hafner and Fausto both have club controlled options (even if you don't believe the options will be picked up by the club, it's still the club's decision). Ubaldo has a player option. He may represent the only 'dire emergency' situation, and even then, it's not exactly dire.. The Indian have other pitcher(s) (Carlos Carrasco, Huff, Barnes, Gomez, McAllister, etc) who may be able to replace Ubaldo in the starting rotation. Otherwise, all the other positions can/should be covered with young and talented guys. no?


No, he has a team option for 2013. Player option is for 2014.


I agree on the "can" be covered by young guys part....not sure about talented or should be though...
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