UPDATE 1:35 pm: The Indians have signed veteran right-handed pitcher Jeff Weaver, reports mlb.com.
This move could be seen as the first in many minor and major tweaks Shapiro will make to bring his team back into contention for next year.
A curious note, as Tom Haudricourt mentions, Weaver was actually part of the Brewers' Triple A affiliate this year, and let him go due to a 2-4 record and a 6.22 ERA in nine games. Had he pitched well enough, the Brewers might not be pursuing Sabathia.
Though 2008 is not playing out how the Cleveland Indian's front office envisioned, plans to rebuild are not in the radar, says GM Mark Shapiro.
Speaking to MLB.com beat writer Thor Nystor, Shapiro emphasized the quick rebound teams like the White Sox and Twins had from last year to now, but alluded keeping an open mind to any and all possibilities to make sure that the team is in contention next year.
The loudest trade speculation swirls around staff Ace and Cy-Young winner C.C. Sabathia, but Shapiro didn't offer any insight into his future and said the team had not made a laundry list of players that could be traded.
More than anything, the Indians' struggles are a consequence to injury, with Victor Martinez being out early this year, and Travis Hafner, Fausto Carmona and Jake Westbrook seeing significant time on the DL (Westbrook could miss part of next year as well).
Shapiro is confident the team will contend with some minor tweaks and once the full roster is healthy. But he did acknowledge lingering uncertainty around Hafner's injury, even though he doesn't think it'll affect any decision the team makes in the next month. Anything after that, though, is wide open.
"If that uncertainty carries into the off-season, then it has a dramatic effect on our ability to build this team," Shapiro told Nystor.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Rumors? Comments? Email me alexo05 (at) umpbump (dot) com.
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