It has not been a fun winter in Cleveland, and it's not just because of the Cavaliers. The Indians have signed just one player to a big league contract (Austin Kearns), doing the rest of their work on the minor league side. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wrote about the team's plight in a feature article today, which contained some news about the club's present state and what's to come...
- "We've been in a similar situation before, and we've demonstrated the ability to overcome those challenges and put together a championship-caliber team," said new GM Chris Antonetti, referring to the team's rebuilding nature. "We feel equally strong about our talent base now and throughout our farm system. The challenge is to have patience and let those guys play."
- The Tribe has passed on overpaying third base stopgap players like Jorge Cantu and Pedro Feliz, instead opting to sit tight with their in-house options until top prospect Lonnie Chisenhall is ready.
- Antonetti won't rule out the possibility of adding another starting pitcher to a rotation that currently features Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Carlos Carrasco, and Mitch Talbot. Former Indian Bartolo Colon is a possibility.
- "It's something we remain interested in pursuing," said Antonetti, answering a question about a possible extension for Shin-Soo Choo. "Whether or not there's common ground at this point, we'll have to see." Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at Choo as an extension candidate at the end of the 2010 season.
- Unsurprisingly, the team has little payroll flexibility and will continue to shop in the bargain bin.