Indians Notes: Payroll, Wood, Hafner

A pair of Cleveland Plain Dealer writers address the latest Indians-related news in their recent pieces. Paul Hoynes fields readers' questions in a mailbag, while Terry Pluto talks Tribe in an all-Cleveland article. Here are a few highlights:

  • Pluto describes Cleveland's lack of consistency as the main reason why ownership reduced the team's payroll for 2010. The bump in player salaries following a strong 2007 season didn't result in on-field success over the last two years. As a result, the Indians will field one of the league's least expensive teams this season, after their 2009 payroll started around the middle of the pack.
  • Pluto also says that Chris Antonetti's promotion to GM comes as no surprise, since Antonetti has been handling many of the GM duties for the last year.
  • When asked if the Indians should have pursued a pitcher instead of signing Russell Branyan, Hoynes notes that Jarrod Washburn and Braden Looper were likely out of the Tribe's price range, though the club at least had interest in Washburn.
  • Unless they could decisively upgrade their current rotation, the Indians thought that adding offense provided the better value, according to Hoynes.
  • Hoynes finds it unlikely that the Indians will be able to move Kerry Wood or Travis Hafner this season. Their bloated contracts are only one part of the problem, since neither player enjoyed a strong 2009 campaign.

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