Indians Notes: Lincecum, Mateo, Hernandez

Tim Lincecum nearly signed with the Indians in 2005?  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has the story…

  • The Indians drafted Lincecum in the 42nd round of the '05 draft.  Told it'd take $1MM to sign him, the Tribe offered $700K.  MLB draft exec Frank Coonelly wasn't pleased at the over-slot offer, but it still wasn't enough to convince Lincecum to sign.  A year later he went tenth overall to the Giants.  You can play "what might have been" with any team, but Lincecum would've changed the course of Indians history.
  •  The Indians are expected to work out Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo, writes Hoynes.  Mateo has already tried out for the Diamondbacks.
  • Anderson Hernandez joins the mix for the Indians' utility job after yesterday's waiver claim.  Assistant GM Chris Antonetti noted that manager Manny Acta is familiar with Hernandez from managing him in Washington.


33 Responses to Indians Notes: Lincecum, Mateo, Hernandez Leave a Reply

  1. Pharx 5 years ago

    Ouch.

  2. ipkiss 5 years ago

    Not so sure it would have “changed the course of Indians history.” I mean, the team did have 2 Cy Young winners for 2 years in a row. They even had a cheap near-Cy Young in Carmona. With their small payroll, a lot more would have to go right than just Lincecum signing with them. A lot of their high-ceiling talent hasn’t worked out for them and that’s the real problem for Cleveland and no single awesome player would change much.

    • jb226 5 years ago

      True. On the other hand, if they had him and still didn’t win anything could you imagine the return they could get on a trade? That alone might have been enough to change the course of history for their franchise.

    • I disagree. I think a rookie Lincecum might’ve meant reaching the WS in ’07, and maybe being high enough in the standings in summer ’08 to not do a sell-off. He was a 7-win player in ’08 and they could’ve even reached the playoffs if they acquired rather than sold off.

      • 0bsessions 5 years ago

        With all due respect, I completely disagree. A third ace wouldn’t have gotten the Indians very far considering their big problem was their front two. Even if Lincecum came up and performed (And to be fair, his numbers in ’07 were merely average in a weak division), that doesn’t change the fact that Sabathia and Carmona both absolutely imploded in the ALCS. Byrd, the guy Lincecum effectively would’ve replaced, managed to hold his own fine against the Sox. The only difference if Lincecum starts in Byrd’s place is that maybe the Sox get beaten even worse.

        The only significant change to their season I could see is MAYBE they win an extra game with him and get home field. Considering Beckett and Schilling dominated the Indians in six and seven, I don’t think moving them out of a hitter’s park is going to help much, especially when the big moment of the series (Drew’s slam) was to the deepest part of Fenway anyway. I just fail to see how having a third ace would’ve made a difference when the other two Cy Young contenders they fielded looked absolutely lost out there.

        • Patattack 5 years ago

          I do agree with the fact that it was the top 2 in the rotation that killed the Indians’ chances in that series, but maybe if Lincecum was there, and if Cliff Lee decided not to perform so terribly that he got demoted to AAA that year, they may have been able to make up for CC and Fausto (yes, I know these are big ifs). That would have also moved Westbrook down to the fifth starter, which may have arguably made Cleveland a better rotation than Boston at the time.

          Also, if Lincecum made them win only an extra game or two, that would have been enough to get Cleveland to the World Series, since they were up 3-1 in that series at one point.

          • 0bsessions 5 years ago

            “I do agree with the fact that it was the top 2 in the rotation that killed the Indians’ chances in that series, but maybe if Lincecum was there, and if Cliff Lee decided not to perform so terribly that he got demoted to AAA that year, they may have been able to make up for CC and Fausto (yes, I know these are big ifs).”

            But that’s entirely missing the point. I’m saying, even if Lincecum were there, that doesn’t really change matters. Even if Lincecum comes out there and throws a no-hitter, that still doesn’t change the win total for the series. Byrd and Westbrook absolutely shut down the Sox, replacing one of them with Lincecum only serves to make one lopsided win an even more lopsided win for the Indians. Sabathia and Carmona both performed solidly in the ALDS and obviously Wedge wouldn’t have pulled either one out of their spot in the rotation for games one or two and it’s unlikely Wedge would’ve trotted Lincecum out there for game seven instead of Carmona on short rest, and even if he had, he’d likely be on a short leash and most of the damage in that one came against the bullpen.

            Logically speaking, the only way Lincecum would’ve made a difference in the ’07 ALCS is if he was so absolutely dominant in the regular season that Wedge slots him #2 or higher in the rotation for the playoffs, ahead of two guys who could’ve won the Cy Young.

            “That would have also moved Westbrook down to the fifth starter, which may have arguably made Cleveland a better rotation than Boston at the time. ”

            Playoff starter wise, the Indians already had a better rotation than Boston. The Sox had Beckett and behind him question marks. Sure Lester is probably ace material now, but in ’07, he was a huge question mark just coming off lymphoma who’d consistently performed. Then you’ve got Schilling who was pretty solid in ’07, but certainly no ’07 Carmona, Matsuzaka who’d had a very rough first season and Wakefield, who’s Wakefield.

            “Also, if Lincecum made them win only an extra game or two, that would have been enough to get Cleveland to the World Series, since they were up 3-1 in that series at one point.”

            As the wording indicates, I was referring to the regular season. The Sox and Indians tied for top record in ’07 and the season series went to the Sox. If the Indians won an extra game in the regular season, they’d have had homefield advantage, but again, I don’t see that as making much difference.

          • Boom, roasted.

          • Patattack 5 years ago

            You’re right. I misread the your last part about the regular season. My bad. I still think that Lincecum would have made a difference in that series, but I definitely respect your insight.

        • A strikeout per inning isn’t average. But I see what you’re saying, that the Indians’ ALCS losses weren’t close so Lincecum as a starter or reliever might not have impacted them. But what about the effect he could’ve had on the ’08 Indians?

          • 0bsessions 5 years ago

            All baseball logic tells me they would’ve been dominant in ’08 with a rotation like that in ’08, but I can’t bring myself to apply logic to the 2008 team. They were a mess that I just cannot explain with the kind of talent on that squad. Would’ve been a staff for the ages, though without a doubt.

          • 0bsessions 5 years ago

            Wow, I pointed out the year a lot in there. At least everyone’s probably sure what season I was talking about =O/

  3. JerseyJohn32190 5 years ago

    Poor Indians fans. As if watching CC and Lee in the playoffs wasn’t hard enough, they have to read things like this.

  4. Pseudonymus Bosch 5 years ago

    Anderson Hernandez, Austin Kearns, Saul Rivera … they’re becoming the Cleveland Nationals.

  5. alphakira 5 years ago

    Wow, first they lose Lincecum, then CC, and now come July they’ll lose LeBron…even I feel bad for Cleveland and I’m a Mets fan…

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      don’t forget Choo switching to Boras either :]

      whats sad is, even with LeBron on the NY or NJ, they would still be a losing team.

  6. thomas1010 5 years ago

    The Cubs also drafted him in the 48th round of the 2003 draft.

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      I don’t think they were that close to signing him, though. Lincecum was dead set on going to college. The Cubs used a late round flyer on him just in case he decided to change his mind. I believe they also drafted Matt LaPorta out of high school that year too.

      • studio179 5 years ago

        You’re right. The Cubs were not close to signing Lincecum, but drafted him first. Thomas1010 makes a good point though. If you are going to play ‘what if’…

        Ha! Our boy Diamond Jim would never allow 300K to stop him from signing a guy.

  7. Triteon 5 years ago

    You can’t simply say the Lincecum signing would have changed the course of Indians history. He’s a very talented pitcher with raw skills, but that does not necessarily mean that Cleveland would have developed or coached him as well as the Giants have. General chaos theory suggests that anything could have derailed TL as an Indian. (On the other hand, it could also suggest he would win 30 games for the Tribe.)

  8. Yankees10 5 years ago

    Wow imagine they had Tim Linececum, Cliff Lee, and CC Sabathia in the same rotation. Wow

    • counciltucky 5 years ago

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. That rotation would’ve been SICK — about as close to Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz as we may have gotten for a long time.

  9. Holy_Roman_Emperor 5 years ago

    The Indians continue to sad-sack it……………….

    Is it time yet to discuss the Indians in the same vein that we discuss the other hapless teams(PIT, KC, WAS, etc???) It has to be getting to that point.

    To the “Cleveland Nationals guy,” don’t forget Manny Acta as well.

    Tim Lincecum probably wouldn’t have changed the course of Indians history all that much. Shapiro probably would have flipped him like he has all his other CY’s(Colon, Lee, C.C., etc.)

  10. $1574266 5 years ago

    Lincecum could have been a Pirate as well, but they took Brad Lincoln instead. Lincoln could still be a good pitcher, but he wont ever win a Cy Young and Lincecum already has 2. YOUR A GENIUS DAVE LITTLEFIELD!

    • sacu 5 years ago

      Of course, but he also could’ve been a _________ (insert name of favorite team), considering he went in the 48th round and then the 42nd.

      • humbb 5 years ago

        Well, he’s talking about the 2006 draft when 9 teams passed on that year’s NCAA (Div I) strikeout champ/Golden Spikes winner (and CLE was not one of them):
        # 1 – Luke Hochevar, KC
        # 2 – Gregory Reynolds, COL
        # 3 – Evan Longoria, TB
        # 4 – Brad Lincoln, PIT
        # 5 – Brandon Morrow, SEA
        # 6 – Andrew Miller, DET
        # 7 – Clayton Kershaw, LAD
        # 8 – Robert Stubbs, CIN
        # 9 – William Rowell, BAL
        # 10 – Timothy Lincecum, SF

        • sacu 5 years ago

          Got it. Well then AndrewMcCutchen22, don’t feel so bad. Imagine what KC and Col feel like for not drafting Longoria.

          I’m not a Detroit fan but if they had taken Lincecum in ’06, they would’ve had quite the rotation.

          • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

            Justin Verlander
            Tim Lincecum
            Jair Jurrjens
            Rick Porcello
            Anybody

            Oh what could’ve been…

          • sacu 5 years ago

            Oh and don’t forget Dontrelle Willis came along in ’08.

            And unlike Cleveland, Detroit could have afforded all these guys to stick around.

  11. mybeastwithin 5 years ago

    lincecum, sabathia and lee wouldve been a hell of a rotation

  12. GeraldIII 5 years ago

    They also took Desmond Jennings in that draft and weren’t able to sign him.

  13. alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

    With a rotation of CC, Lee, and Lincecum in 2008 I doubt the Indians would’ve traded CC at the deadline. Also they probably would have made the playoffs.

  14. WillieMaysField 5 years ago

    The Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti is on record as saying he’s hands off with Lincecum. The Lincecum and his dad are really his pitching coach.

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