Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A New Outfield

so Choo is no longer an Indian. when the season ended, i really didn't believe we would trade him this offseason. i thought we'd keep him around to start 2013 and then trade him at the deadline. but to my surprise, the Choo deal popped up all over the internet almost immediately after the Cabby trade rumors were put to rest. now we have 4 new Indians: Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers, and Bryan Shaw. welcome to the team, boys.

the main guy we wanted in this deal was Bauer, who the more i read about, the more i get nervous. the kid seems to have an unwarranted attitude problem, is pretty stubborn when it comes to his routines and mechanics, and could be hard to work with. (good luck to Mickey Callaway.) it sounds like there's a possibility he could be worse than a Jimenez Jr, but for the Tribe's sake, i really hope that's not the case. he has a huge upside talent-wise, but his maturity levels could stand to increase.

another "top" player we got in this deal is Drew Stubbs, a gold glove caliber center fielder. nobody really wants to say who's going to play what position yet, well actually my boy Terry did put it out there, but it seems obvious to me that for defensive purposes you HAVE to keep Drew in center and move Brantley to left field. the team would be stupid to do anything other than that. anybody suggesting that Drew move to right or left, your logic is off. left field was HORRIBLE last season. do you really want to put a guy who's never played anywhere but center in left? like really? it takes a while to learn that wall at Progressive Field, and Brantley is already more than capable of handling it. why add more drama to our outfield by taking a chance on someone who's never played left and him possibly sucking at it? i am not interested in that.

and how is Drew's offense? well, he strikes out. a lot. and with our earlier addition of Mark Reynolds, the team should expect to be highly ranked in the K department, an area we had improved on but now will most likely take a step back with. (good luck to Ty Van Burkleo.) i just hope Francona has enough sense NOT to let Drew lead off. he can hit home runs, and he can steal bases if he gets on base because he's speedy, but he kind of reminds me of Grady Sizemore, and that's not necessarily a good thing.

now of course i have to touch on the Brantley issue, because what else would you expect from me? Michael killed it in center last season, and now, in typical Tribe fashion, he'll be rewarded for that by getting moved to left field. i was, not surprisingly, never one of the people who questioned Michael's ability to play center. i know he's capable of playing both left and center but because his preference is center, that's what i continue to push for him to play. besides, i love watching him be the captain in the outfield lol i will miss seeing his home run robbing catches where his arm legit stretches over the wall and brings the ball back. (can Drew do that?) Michael's agent was just as irked with the Stubbs acquisition as i am. he's just as tired of the Indians bringing in CFs despite Michael's ability to be our starting CF. [it just happened to work out that Grady was a bust last year; had he not been, Michael would have moved to left.] and with Drew being as young as he is, i don't think we'll see Michael play much center here again. blah.

i can't keep fighting this battle, so i'm just going to say it one more time: Michael will get his chance someday to be the leadoff center fielder that everyone said he'd be back in 2009 and that he wants to be, but it's just not going to be with the Indians. it's crazy how he actually was leading off and playing center very early in his career, before he could even be considered as reliable in either spot. now he's established himself as a solid ballplayer and we're not going to see him flourish in the places he was projected to be at all along. i cannot and will not be upset with him when he leaves us. his agent says that Michael loves Cleveland and its fans, but i can't forget there was that rumor floating around last season that Michael wasn't getting along with Manny Acta and he wanted out of Cleveland. maybe with Acta gone, things will be different now. although, also knowing what i know about his woman, i still can't see him being in Cleveland longer than a few more years. and he's arb eligible after next season so who knows what could happen. i imagine how he's treated in 2013 will be very important. i only want what's best for him, and i don't think he's going to get that here.

okay so we lost an RF, gained a CF, and moved our old CF to LF. bottom line at this moment is, and maybe i should have waited until Swisher makes his decision in a few more days but, we still don't have a right fielder. i don't think Swish is going to pick us. i know he really wanted to be near the Bay Area, but the Giants don't seem to have a need for him. so then i thought it made the most sense for him to choose Seattle. with his wife being pregnant and due to have the baby shortly after the season starts, i figured having his home team be on the west coast would be very convenient. but Seattle seems to be wavering. and because Hamilton just signed with the Angels, it appears that Texas is now the favorite for him. the climate will certainly be nicer there than it is up in NEO, and the paycheck will probably be more there as well because "everything's bigger in Texas."

so what do we do if Swisher doesn't take our offer? there's always Cody Ross, and i know we've gone after him before. but if we can't land a free agent OF, or trade for one, then we'll probably be forced to use someone internally to start the year. not an ideal solution imo.

it's definitely going to be a different looking outfield in 2013, and i just hope it doesn't end up being worse than last season. and we still have a hole to fill at DH, not to mention we really should try to acquire another SP. there's 105 days to go until Opening Day, and normally all the moves are made before spring training. in other words, we're starting to get low on time so the front office better keep things moving cause we ain't done yet.