The Indians (80-82) edged out the Reds (79-83) for state bragging rights this season and the Tribe also went 5-1 against Cincinnati in interleague play. As a result, the Cleveland notes lead off the latest edition of news from the Buckeye State…
- "I would say that the percentage is higher of me coming back next year than not," Jim Thome tells MLB.com's Zack Meisel. The veteran slugger is known to be considering retirement.
- GM Chris Antonetti says the Indians' payroll will be "significantly" higher next year, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. This doesn't necessarily mean Cleveland will be making big moves, however, as the Tribe have a number of players due healthy arbitration raises this winter.
- Appearing on a Starting Blocks TV video, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer predicts that Grady Sizemore will return to the Indians next season. The Tribe have a $9MM club option on Sizemore for 2012, or the team could buy him out for $500K. Hoynes also writes that the Indians will have to make a quick decision about their center fielder given that Sizemore had his knee examined on Monday and teams have until just three days after the last game of the World Series to decide on player options.
- Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer believes the Tribe should let Sizemore leave since he's too much of an injury risk. Pluto suggets Cleveland should decline Sizemore's option and see if he would agree to return for something akin to a $3MM deal with lots of incentives.
- In case you missed it, manager Manny Acta's option for the 2013 season was picked up earlier today by the Tribe.
- Tim Belcher has stepped down as the Indians' pitching coach and will take a job in the team's baseball operations department. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports that "the Indians have known for months" that Belcher was thinking of resigning.
- The Reds should "play the odds" and cut ties with both Brandon Phillips and Francisco Cordero, opines John Erardi of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Erardi thinks the Reds must spend more efficiently and not sign two veteran players to big-money contracts. He also suggests seeing what Aroldis Chapman could bring on the trade market.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer thinks the Reds will again pursue an front-of-the-rotation pitcher this winter.
- "This is going to be a strange offseason, I think," Bronson Arroyo says to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "I don't think anyone in the locker room here has any idea what moves the front office wants to make."