AL Notes: Indians, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Jays

The Indians have had a quiet offseason thus far, with December's one-year pact with John Axford and a trade that netted them reliever Josh Outman in exchange for Drew Stubbs being their biggest moves. In a reader mailbag column, Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer writes that the Tribe's estimated 2013 attendance figure of 1.6 million — second-to-last in the majors — could be a factor in the club's quiet offseason. Fans might see more activity from the Cleveland front office if attendance returned to the 2.5 million to 3 million range that the Indians formerly drew, Hoynes says. Here's more from around the American League:

  • Jeff Sullivan examined the importance of rotation depth in a piece for Fangraphs. In 2013, teams got an average of 32 starts from pitchers who didn't rank among their top-five most heavily used starters. Sullivan notes that a pitcher like Ryan Dempster, who's been the subject of trade discussions as the odd man out in the Red Sox rotation, could end up being valuable for Boston when one factors in expected rates of starter attrition.
  • A trip to the postseason can exhaust a pitcher, former Cy Young Award-winner Orel Hershiser tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Red Sox pitchers Jon Lester and Koji Uehara each reached career highs in innings as they continued to throw into October last season. Lauber reports that Red Sox personnel have urged some of the club's pitchers to alter their offseason routines because of the higher workloads.
  • The Boston Herald's John Tomase sizes up the Red Sox's AL East competitors now that several have brought in new talent.
  • Yesterday, Brendan Kuty of listed the six worst contracts on the books for the Yankees. Today, he named Brett Gardner (arbitration eligible), Alfonso Soriano (one year with the Cubs paying all but $5MM of his 2014 salary), David Robertson (arbitration eligible), Ivan Nova (arbitration eligible), Hiroki Kuroda (one year, $16MM), and Brian McCann (five years, $85MM) as the team's best bargains. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects arbitration salaries of $4MM for Gardner, $5.5MM for Robertson, and $2.8MM for Nova. 
  • It's time for the Orioles to spend, and starting pitching stands out as the team's greatest area of need, CBS Sports' Dayn Perry writes. Signing Masahiro Tanaka would provide the club with a front-of-the-rotation arm as it prepares for another grueling season in the AL East. Kendrys Morales is also a good fit for the Orioles' DH slot, Perry opines.
  • The Blue Jays have been quiet so far this offseason, but Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star sees five reasons for being optimistic about 2014.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.

40 Responses to AL Notes: Indians, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Jays Leave a Reply

  1. johansantana15 2 years ago

    It says a lot when a soon to be 30 year old catcher signed at 5 yrs and $85M is one of your team’s best bargains.

    • Riaaaaaa 2 years ago

      He is expected to cover first when Tex leaves and it’s not a bad deal considering he is a lefty power hitter who will see his HR totals rise significantly in Yankee Stadium.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      He is one of the best still though.

      • pft2 2 years ago

        When he manages to stay healthy.

        • Lionel Bossman Craft 2 years ago

          Health is important for anyone, that goes without say.

        • LazerTown 2 years ago

          Most catchers tend to get dinged up. And it’s not like he hits the dl all the time. 8 years in row of 100+ games.

  2. Mike LaRose 2 years ago

    I would quite surprised if the Os got Tanaka…not so much if they sign Morales

    • Seamaholic 2 years ago

      I actually wouldn’t. The Tanaka wars seem like they’re destined to be won by Mystery Team. Just have a feeling.

      • not_brooks 2 years ago

        Dan Duquette has said about 100 times that the O’s aren’t even going to post the $20MM to negotiate with Tanaka.

        Not happening.

  3. MaineSkin 2 years ago

    Of course as an #orioles fan I want “Tanaka”, but I’ve read some not-so-positive scouting reports. I believe has a step above Garza due to age and his “worlds best CU”, but I really believe he will be a fly-ballSP. His HR/FB rate was higher than lg avg in the NPB, his FB does not have great movement bc his backside collapse puts his release just above the batters mid-section and his SL tends to flatten out. These reports are from BA, minor league ball and my own viewing of his video (don’t laugh, lol).
    I’d rather them save the money for when Gausmen, Bundy

    • MaineSkin 2 years ago

      None of this was said about Darvish. Also, Darvish was somewhat protected as a youth from the insane pitch count while Tanaka closed a game after a 9IP 170 pitch outing the prior day we are talking about a 7yr $140M deal. It’s the AL east; how many Sp have had success for 3yrs?

      • LazerTown 2 years ago

        What he has going for him is his age.

        Most FA pitchers you are biting the bullet on the last few years regardless. Yankees bit bullet on Burnett, and maybe now on CC, Mets did it on Johan, Dodgers doing it on Beckett. Even if he was overworked, it is a question of do you think he can hold it together until he turns 30, 5 or so years. I wouldn’t want him at 40, but if he stays healthy til 30 any team will be fine.

    • Riaaaaaa 2 years ago

      This is what scares me about Tanaka. I want him to be a yankee, but I heard the same thing about him having a flat fastball with no movement which definitely will be smacked around in New York, (as well as most AL East ballparks)

      • pft2 2 years ago

        He is a GB pitcher so I suspect the lack of movement is on his four seam fast ball. The four seam fastball is typically used by pitchers with splitters to set up the splitter or get the hitter to chase it around the eyes. Certainly if a FB he uses in the zone is flat that does not bode well, but he does have low HR rates in Japan (although he pitched in a pitcher friendly park and in the deadball era for Japan the last 3 years)

        • MaineSkin 2 years ago

          His HR/FB ratio was higher than league average. Yes, the vaunted splitter is a diving pitch, but ML GB SPs usually have a FB that also has vertical movement. Even then, GB SPs have less impactful success in the MLs per a big FG article depicting how Strasburg’s new philosophy to induce weak ct or GBs will not produce less innings at enough clip to be worthy. There’s another factor. He wants $20M a damn year over 7yrs. No thanks. If I’m Sea, I look at Garzas success in big parks due to his extreme FB rate and take the discount. Everyone knew GarA in Arlington was a bad fit, but in the thick air of the north west, I’d put money on him being less than 1WAR from Tanaka.

        • MaineSkin 2 years ago

          Yes, in theory he’s a GB SP and they tend to negate splits.

  4. johnsilver 2 years ago

    Except Workman was a starter until late August of last year, Ranaudo is just about ready, Webster is just about ready, Barnes will be ready.. probably late in the season.

    I read an article on.. Think it was ESPN Boston that the AAA Red Sox were going to have their best rotation EVER with (expected) Ranaudo, Webster, RDLR, Barnes and possibly Henry Owens later on during the later part of the season, the best pitching prospect in the system.

    Yeah.. They need to find someone QUICK to take Dempster.

  5. Guest 2 years ago

    I’m sorry but how does Brett Gardner, Ivan Nova and David Robertson have the worst contracts on the Yankees? How about A-Rod? Teixeira? Sabathia? Possibly Ellsbury? Those ring a bell?

  6. LazerTown 2 years ago

    Gardner is an absolute bargain.

    Soriano is still a pretty good value too. He is better than Cruz, and a bit worse than Granderson, but they paying 1/3 that each would cost.

    Don’t feel so much bout Roberson, he could be making a bit more, but personally I feel that the closer title is severely overrated.

    Nova and Kuroda are maybes. Nova could easily take a step back, he was only a 2 pitch pitcher in his 2 good seasons, and Kuroda is a good price for what he has done, but he is old and you never know.

    I’m really happy to have McCann. He is one of the best catchers around, sure he might make too much, but it was a position of need, and they got the best. I’d rather pay him $85M/5 than paying Cano almost 3X as much over 10 years.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
      Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

      McCann got exactly what someone like him should get paid.
      I like him a lot and thought maybe the Orioles should have made a play.
      I wish him luck in 2014 and I am thinking, he will be a big help to the Yankees.

  7. Steve Kinsella 2 years ago

    Indians did sign David Murphy to a contract that was larger than Axford and more impact than Outman. Murphy getting 2-year/$12M with 3rd year Club Option at $7M.

    It Still has been a quiet offseason but they did a lot of work last offseason taking care of a lot of positions.

    Still think they add one more reliever with some experience – either a groundball guy for low leverage or a wild card that may be able to work higher leverage (Marmol/K-Rod)

    • Greg David 2 years ago

      Actually their biggest need is someone who can play acceptable defense at third and hit better than 220

      • Kyle 2 years ago

        Carlos Santana

        • Greg David 2 years ago

          IF Santana can play 3rd every day,and at this point that’s still a big if, then they need a DH or someone to split 3B/DH with Santana. In any case they need another bat in the lineup that can hit for power or at least a decent average

          • Kyle 2 years ago

            I doubt he can play 3rd every day I don’t think there is any interest in that. But I think there is enough lineup flexibility to find the right matchups that they don’t need to sign a DH (if Giambi, Francouer or a minor league guy makes the team and hits thats fine, but I wouldn’t spend much money).

            If he can play 3rd though for 70 games it saves a roster spot, because you won’t need Chisenhall or David Adams. Say he plays 70 at 3rd, 30 at catch, 20 at DH and 20 at 1st. Thats 140 games (leaving him with ample days off if need be). I’ve got not problem with Aviles playing 90 games at 3rd, since about 50 of them will be against lefties. Or even Raburn can play a few games at 3rd.

            Don’t forget they picked up David Cooper who is a lefty. He’s probably the go to DH against righties at this point.

    • sportsnut969 2 years ago

      Murphy = Delucci

  8. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    I think the Orioles should spend, but just not on Morales!
    Of course, Peter Angelos thinks a bit differently that I do.
    So, thus the loggerheads! =P

  9. pft2 2 years ago

    “the Tribe’s estimated 2013 attendance figure of 1.6 million —
    second-to-last in the majors — could be a factor in the club’s quiet
    offseason. Fans might see more activity from the Cleveland front office
    if attendance returned to the 2.5 million to 3 million range that the
    Indians formerly drew, Hoynes says.”

    Attendance can be a lagging indicator. If the Indians have a good offseason they could experience a jump from last year, but they have lost some key pieces to last years team and the perception is they may not be as good.

    Teams have to field a good team for a couple of years before whining about attendance. Don’t put the cart before the horse and expect fans to fill the stadium so you can then build a stadium. Make the investment first, and if it pays off the fans will come, and revenues gained will exceed the value of the investment..

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      It is also at the lower end of Metro area populations, and is pretty economically depressed, so is Detroit, but it has 2X as many people.

    • robertloggia 2 years ago

      As far as last season, it also didn’t help that every time the Indians had a big series where they could’ve started building momentum at the turnstiles, they laid an egg… From getting pounded in two games of a home series against the Yankees and getting swept in a three-game home series vs the Red Sox in April… To getting swept in a four-game home series against the Tigers and losing five in a row on the road to the Braves and Tigers in August, they didn’t win when they could’ve captured the fans’ attention and got some momentum going at the ticket window… Kudos to Francona on squeezing 92 wins out of this team, but they never seemed like a team that was going to threaten for an AL title.

  10. Jack 2 years ago

    How is Paul Hoynes still a source for objective baseball information? At best he writes from the perspective of a jaded fan and at worst his work is pure drivel full of inarticulate conjectures.

  11. robertloggia 2 years ago

    F the Dolans! They spend a little bit of money once season in their 11 years as owners and expect Clevelanders to flock to the stadium… The fans were posting sellouts on top of sellouts and were rewarded with all their best players being shipped off for prospects who didn’t pan out Andy Marte, Alex Escobar… And the ones who did pan out were allowed to leave once they approached stardom.

    • Steve O 2 years ago

      If you decide to be an Indians fan then you MUST decide to root for the franchise as a whole and not individual player or players. BASEBALL econims (NOT Cleveland economics) won’t allow Cleveland to sign players to large contracts. If you expect Cleveland to sign ANY player (to keep Lindor in a few years or any player they develop) to a monster contract then it would probably be best if you started rooting for an LA, Chicago, or New York team.

      • robertloggia 2 years ago

        They kept good players for 10 years under Dick Jacobs, and the overall worth of the team expanded exponentially because of it (buy $45 mil – sell $320 mil)… It depends on who the owner is, I reckon, but you have to spend money to make money.

    • Kyle 2 years ago

      “And the ones who did pan out were allowed to leave once they approached stardom”
      Like who?
      Can I point out that Michael Brantley is a 6 win player over the past two years making about 22 million a year less than the guy we traded for him who is a 4 win player

  12. Benjamin Rush 2 years ago

    Orioles getting in on the Tanaka discussions? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. +1 Perry.

  13. Hank Murphy 2 years ago

    LOL on the Griffin article.
    Talk about looking at an empty glass and saying its half full. This is the same bad team with the same bad coaching staff with the same bad manger. Anything other than 5th will be a HUGE shock.

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