Indians Notes: Murphy, Westbrook, Tanaka

Of all the baseball news that broke in 2013, the story of how David Murphy's contract with the Indians became public has to be the most unique.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer relates how Murphy and the Tribe had agreed to terms but were keeping the deal under wraps until it was finalized…only to have Murphy's five-year-old daughter spill the beans to her kindergarten class during a lesson about Thanksgiving.  “She was in preschool and they were learning about Pilgrims and Indians,” Murphy told reporters last month. “She spoke up that her dad was going to the Indians. Obviously, the word spreads quickly because of social media. It’s not the best situation, but it’s a good story to tell her when she gets older.”

Here's some more Tribe-related notes from Hoynes, as part of a reader mailbag

  • The Indians don't have any current interest in Jake Westbrook, who pitched in Cleveland from 2001-10.  Westbrook hit free agency after the Cardinals bought out his 2014 option but it's been a pretty quiet winter of rumors about the veteran right-hander.  Hoynes reported in October that the Tribe would "keep an eye" on Westbrook but nothing seems to have come of that interest.  Westbrook, 36, posted a 4.63 ERA in 116 2/3 IP with the Cardinals last season and had trouble missing bats, as he recorded only 44 strikeouts (against 50 walks).
  • A right-handed power bat isn't high on the club's priority list as the Indians are focused on adding pitching.
  • Hoynes figures the Indians will post a $20MM bid for Masahiro Tanaka since they "have nothing to lose" in doing so, given that only the team that signs Tanaka has to pay the $20MM posting fee.  While the Indians may check on the Japanese righty, however, Hoynes thinks larger-market teams will offer Tanaka a much bigger contract offer.
  • Hoynes thinks Ubaldo Jimenez will end up signing with the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks or Yankees.  The Tanaka signing could affect this prediction as the latter two teams are known to be heavily interested in Tanaka and Toronto will likely be interested as well.
  • Francisco Lindor is only likely to see time as a September callup, and that's only if the Indians' star prospect rebounds from a 2013 back injury and impresses in his first taste of Double-A and Triple-A baseball.  Lindor's progress will also naturally impact the Tribe's future decision on Asdrubal Cabrera, who will be a free agent next winter.  Cleveland is known to be listening to trade offers for Cabrera, who is coming off a down year in 2013.

15 Responses to Indians Notes: Murphy, Westbrook, Tanaka Leave a Reply

  1. brewersfan729 2 years ago

    Wonder why Westbrook isn’t getting any attention. An old pitcher who had more walks than strikeouts should have a ton of demand.

    • Sufferfortribe 2 years ago

      Westbrook has never really been a strikeout type of pitcher. He gets his outs by throwing a very good sinker. You know when he’s on–ground ball outs.

  2. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    I am all confused again.
    If the Indians have the 20 million laying around why don’t they just re-sign Jimenez?
    I mean they invested in him, coached him up and got him back to where he was before. Why invest in an unknown like Tanaka (albeit some think he will be a big superstar or at least a good pitcher). I don’t get the Indians thinking, unless Jimenez said he didn’t want to come back.

    • Fernando 2 years ago

      They only have to pay the $20MM if they actually work out a deal with Tanaka. In all honesty, EVERY MLB team should post the $20MM deal so they can talk to Tanaka.

      • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
        Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

        Well, it would be nice. I mean heck the Orioles didn’t even want to post 3 million for Aoki. Joel Sherman on the MLB Network last night seemed to think the O’s should do it. There are some teams, who want to win badly and are willing to pay anything and others… not so much.

    • charles stevens 2 years ago

      Jimenez is a loose cannon. Way to unpredictable to hand him a fat contract. If teams really thought Jimenez was back they would be lined up to sign him just like they are for Tanaka.

  3. BG921 2 years ago

    The bidding for Tanaka is going to be pretty exciting. I would assume most every team will submit a bid for him. It won’t necessarily come down to which teams offers up the most money, but which team Tanaka feels most comfortable with. My friends who follow the Eagles in Japan have told me he’s interested in joining an organization that has strong family connections with the players. Of course he’ll get a great deal, don’t get me wrong… But I don’t think it’ll come down to simply wanting the most money possible.

    • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

      If there is any truth to this at all it bodes well for the D-Backs. They likely aren’t going to outbid anyone but its considered one of the top organizations in terms of loyalty to its community, players, and employees. I think the best example is how the D-Backs and the (Luis) Gonzalez family have really embraced each other over the years

  4. Gothapotamus 2 years ago

    Cleveland, please sign Tanaka and assign him #16 like Kamikaze Tanaka. They’ve retired #18.

  5. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

    Jimenez should just resign with the Indians on a one year deal. Between his inconsistencies over the past several years and declining the QO no team is going to give him more than 3/45 IMO, with another solid season under his belt he could command a much better deal next off-season.

    • Mike LaRose 2 years ago

      I think he can still get a multi year deal, maybe not at 45mm but a multi year deal, I think him and Garza are waiting for Tanaka to sign then the dominoes will fall and they will get their deals.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

        Im sure he could get a multiyear deal but not the type of multiyear deal he wants. If he wants an AAV of 15+ Mil for 4+ years he should take 1 year deal to prove he can be a consistant ace again

  6. Mike1L 2 years ago

    That’s a great story about Murphy. Better than when my middle-schooler, on a parent kid day, when asked what magazines her parents get, spouted out “my Dad gets AARP”

  7. Anthony Cunningham 2 years ago

    Geez, the Murphy story is about the best story you could possibly imagine. From the mouths of babes…

    • WazBazbo 2 years ago

      Down the road: Mrs. Murphy: “Honey, there are reporters lining up outside our daughter’s room. Did you sign another contract?”

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