Sunday, August 02, 2009
"There was some lack of conviction on the part of management on the team’s ability to contend next year, if we kept Lee and made zero additions in the offseason, which is what ownership said would have to be the case," Shapiro said. "So I had to weigh in my mind keeping Cliff and trying to contend next year, knowing that after next year Cliff, Victor, and Jake would all be gone."
Ownership a.k.a “management” made Shapiro’s decision to start the rebuilding process much easier in Cleveland. Indians fans be prepared for Kerry Wood, Jhonny Peralta and Jake Westbrook (I thought would be included in Sox deal for V-Mart, but it makes sense for the Indians to build up his value over the first four months of 2010). It is sad; Cleveland was such a great baseball city 10 years ago.
A solid core of position players and prospects which could prove to be a formidable lineup as soon as next year. The Indians needed pitching and got it from the Sox.
Justin Masterson is the most well known former Sock to head west, but Nick Hagadone is the key player in the deal. The third player going to Cleveland is Bryan Price.
Hagadone is a hard throwing southpaw with a plus slider coming off TJ surgery. Reports indicate his stuff is back so if he can show an average change, the prospect projects as a top of the rotation starter. If the change does not materialize, then he looks like a future closer. Of course, pitching in A-ball and coming back from TJ, Hagadone is high risk -high reward asset.
Masterson was never going to get a shot at the Sox rotation and to a lesser extent work through his issue against lefties. On the Olde Towne Team, the side-armer was their long reliever and middle innings ROOGY (right-handed one out guy). Masterson’s role is easily replaceable, but he was too good to send down for further development. He’ll get that shot with the rebuilding Indians in the Show. Unfortunately for the Tribe, he will be arbitration eligible in 2011. Even if Masterson does figure it out, he’ll start cost them some real money. Michael Bowden would have been a better option for the Indians.
Not much to say about V-Mart. He has no weakness at the plate. The catcher and first baseman hits for average, power, and gets on-base. V-Mart can’t run and he isn’t a good defender at either position, but he is here to hit at a below market rate. The question is who’s plate appearances does V-Mart take and how much of an upgrade will he be? Regardless of how it plays out in 2009, the only player who could possibly be tough to replace is Hagadone. With this being said, the Sox made a very good deal.