Dolan On Indians, Hernandez, Sizemore, Free Agents

Indians CEO Paul Dolan recently spoke to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer about a number of topics concerning business both on and off the field…

  • Dolan wasn't "shocked" to hear about Roberto Hernandez (a.k.a. Fausto Carmona) living under a false identity, saying that the team had heard an unsubstantiated rumor about the situation last year.
  • Grady Sizemore will miss at least one month of the regular season after undergoing minor back surgery, but Dolan doesn't regret re-signing the outfielder.  "It's disappointing that he got hurt again," Dolan said.  "But we thought it was worth the risk because no one else on the [free agent] market had even close to Grady's upside for that price."
  • Though recent long-term signings like Sizemore, Travis Hafner and Jake Westbrook have suffered injuries, Dolan said he is still open to signing players to such deals, though not without some caution.  "If Chris [Antonetti] and Mark [Shapiro] comes to us with a long-term deal they want to make, we will seriously consider it. They have not done that [lately]," Dolan said.  "We will remain open, but in totality, how successful have those kind of deals been? More often than not, they have been failures."
  • Dolan disputed a recent Forbes article that claimed the Indians made a $30MM profit in 2011, arguing that while the club "made a little bit" of profit, that money went back into the team.  Dolan said the MLB Players Association cited the Indians as a franchise that was properly using the league's revenue sharing system.
  • Dolan was surprised when GM Chris Antonetti approached him about the Ubaldo Jimenez deal last summer.  "Like most fans, I'm used to us trading for prospects — not trading some of our best prospects," Dolan said.  "I was happy to see us take that approach and try to win."
  • It doesn't concern Dolan that the Indians don't have any players under contract past 2013, as the CEO notes that the team has control over many of its young stars like Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis for years to come.
  • Dolan didn't address rumors that the team was looking to sell cable network Sports Time Ohio, but said, "We are always looking to add revenue on the TV side of things."
  • It doesn't sound as if Dolan was totally satisfied with baseball's new collective bargaining agreement.  "We achieved labor peace," said Dolan. "But we didn't address the fundamental problems [such as a lack of a salary cap]."
  • Dolan said that there have been no "serious buyers" interested in purchasing the team during his ownership stint.  He would possibly have interest in a minority investor, should such an interested investor come forward.
  • The Tigers' signing of Prince Fielder dwarfed the Tribe's modest payroll increase of $50MM to $70MM.  "I understand that makes us look bad," Dolan said. "I don't understand the foundation of what they are doing … OK, in the short term, I do understand it, but long term …"  The Tigers' desire to win now makes them "operate much different than most franchisesEven the teams in major markets tend to operate as we do — they spend what they take in and don't go way above that."

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