Chris Antonetti Rumors
Speaking at a charity event on Thursday, Indians CEO Paul Dolan told reporters (including Dennis Manoloff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer) that he had no plans to relieve manager Manny Acta, general manager Chris Antonetti or team president Mark Shapiro of their duties.
"We all have a lot of work to do, but their jobs aren't at stake in this,'' Dolan said. "As I sit here today, I have no intent to make any changes. I have to understand what's happened. I'm not going to have that understanding today. Hopefully, sometime in this offseason, we'll be able to assess and move from there.''
"We had a team threatening to make the playoffs that has collapsed. We have to understand what happened, and I'm not going to make judgments on that right now. It's going to take more time to assess what we have, what we need, and what we're capable of doing.''
The comments echo statements made by Dolan on August 9, though the Indians' slide has gotten worse since, with 10 losses in their last 12 games. The Indians are 7-26 since July 18, a stretch that included an 11-game losing streak and an ongoing eight-game losing streak. The Tribe were close to contending in the AL Central and wild card races and didn't make any major acquisitions before the trade deadline, though Dolan didn't think that was the season for the collapse.
"I doubt it was demoralizing to the team,'' Dolan said. "Most teams I know are glad when they're kept together like that. We were very aggressive in looking for something that could help the team. I'm not convinced, given what's happened, that anything we might have done would have made a material difference.''
Shapiro and Acta are both under contract through the 2013 season and Antonetti already said that Acta will return as manager next year. Antonetti's contract reportedly runs through at least the 2014 season, according to the Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto. Since all of these deals are relatively close to completion already, it stands to reason that Dolan would give his staff another year to right the ship, especially since the Tribe weren't expected to be much more than borderline contenders this season anyway.
The Indians announced a significant change to their coaching staff today following an 11-game losing streak that all but eliminated the team from playoff contention. They have replaced pitching coach Scott Radinsky with Ruben Niebla on an interim basis. Niebla had been the pitching coach at Triple-A Columbus since 2011 and has worked in the Cleveland organization for 12 years. Here are more notes on the Indians from Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer...
- Indians CEO Paul Dolan told Pluto that the team’s recent losing streak was “so dismal” and "the most disappointing stretch of baseball" since the Dolans bought the team before the 2000 season.
- The Indians rank last in MLB in attendance (they average 20,321 fans per game) and their finances are “not particularly good” this season, Dolan acknowledged. The Indians are open to minority investors, but the franchise is “not for sale,” Dolan said.
- Indians president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti never brought up the subject of firing manager Manny Acta, Dolan said. However, the CEO declined to comment on the future of Acta or others beyond 2012. "We assess everyone at the end of every season," Dolan told Pluto. "As painful as this has been, I don't want to get into some knee-jerk reactions.”
- Antonetti recently told reporters Acta would return in 2013, but there’s no guarantee of that right now. Dolan wants to see how the team performs between now and the end of the season.
- Shapiro has a contract through 2013 and it’d be a shock if he were replaced, Pluto writes.
- Antonetti’s contract isn’t up at the end of this season, Dolan said. Pluto has heard it runs at least through 2014.
- In case you missed it, the Indians will release Johnny Damon and Jeremy Accardo today.
Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith profiled as a trade candidate last month, did nothing to hurt his market value by extending his scoreless streak to 27 innings in a 7-0 shutout of the Mets. The streak is the longest by a Cub since Ken Holtzman also tossed 27 scoreless innings in 1971 and is six innings away from tying Holtzman's club record set in 1969. Dempster meanwhile lowered his ERA to 1.99 during his five-inning stint where he struck out four and did not walk a batter.
- Dempster isn't paying attention to all the trade talk telling reporters, including the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan (via Twitter), that the only television he watches is "Swamp People."
- Indians outfielder Shelley Duncan doesn't think the team needs to be active at the trade deadline. "We have the talent," Duncan told reporters including MLB.com's Justin Albers. "A lot of people out there always talk about bringing in new people, getting a bat and all that stuff. But the guys we have on this team, we honestly feel from the bottom of our hearts, we don't need that. We don't need that at all."
- In the same piece, Indians GM Chris Antonetti says finances will not affect his approach at the trade deadline. "I have not limited our focus on potential acquisitions by their contract status." Antonetti added, "There's always a sense of urgency. Every game that passes is a missed opportunity."
- With the Pirates in first place in the NL Central and looking to be buyers at the trade deadline, pitcher Jameson Taillon's name has been mentioned as a possible trade chip. The second overall pick in the 2010 draft told Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he tries to avoid the trade talk but it's unavoidable. "There are some people that will bring it up to you and say, 'Hey did you see this? Did you see that rumor?' To be honest, I love the Pirates. You can’t pay too much attention to it. I’m just really glad to be a Pirate." (Twitter links) Taillon will pitch for the United States during the annual All-Star Futures Game being played today in Kansas City.
Happy Father's Day to all dads! Jim Thome, a father of two, became just the fourth player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs for three different clubs with his solo shot in the Phillies' game against the Blue Jays. Thome joins Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, and Darrell Evans in that exclusive club.
- Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters, including Adam Rosenbloom of MLB.com, he is concerned about the playing career of Jason Bay, who is on the disabled list with his second career concussion. "We've got to put ourselves in his shoes, and decide what we think is the best for the future," Collins said.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti will not show any apprehension approaching the trade deadline after the mixed results of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal last year, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I continue to trust our process and evaluators," said Antonetti. "If we feel the right guy is out there, and it's the right trade, we'll certainly be willing to make it. I don't think we'd operate any differently."
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes the Brewers recent sweep at the hands of the Royals may cause the team to be sellers at the trade deadline. Haudricourt points out the Brewers will have several question marks heading into 2013 including the starting rotation, first base, outfield, and shortstop.
The Indians officially completed the transition of Mark Shapiro to club president and Chris Antonetti to GM, according to a press release. The plan had been announced in February. Mike Chernoff was named assistant GM, among other front office promotions. Back in April, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince profiled Antonetti, a 35-year-old who had been in the organization for 12 years.
Links for Wednesday...
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick looks at nine revolving door positions for various teams, such as Red Sox shortstop and Braves' left fielder.
- RotoAuthority looks at a few potential buy-low candidates on the young fantasy season.
- Murray Chass takes USA Today to task for publishing inaccurate salary data.
- Jim Callis ranks Baseball America's #1 prospects from the last ten years, putting Jason Heyward behind only Matt Wieters and Josh Beckett.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince looks at the background of the Indians' GM-in-waiting, Chris Antonetti.
- ESPN's Keith Law agrees with Ben Goessling of MASN, saying the Nationals have "more or less settled on Bryce Harper." Law says the Nats would be nuts to take someone else.
- MLB.com's Ian Browne tweets that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has been in touch with Alan Embree's agent, perhaps regarding the lefty's April 15th out-out date.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star notes that the Blue Jays have to place Adeiny Hechavarria on the 2013 25-man Opening Day 2013 roster, or else place him on waivers.
- SI's Melissa Segura tweets that the Twins were impressed by outfielder Vicmal de la Cruz, "perhaps the jewel of the 2010 July 2 class." Click here to view Kiley McDaniel's video of the kid.
Ken Rosenthal's work is a must for any rumor junkie. Here are some highlights from his latest column.
- Rosenthal gives his take on possible A-Rod destinations, discussing the Mets, Tigers, and Dodgers in depth. He tosses out an idea I hadn't seen before - moving David Wright to left field and declining Moises Alou's option. MetsBlog discusses Scott Boras' sales pitch to the Mets.
- The Cards want to hire Chris Antonetti, but the Indians don't want to let him go. Rosenthal says they may have to pay him GM money and/or promise him the post in the future.
- Rosenthal has a new I hadn't mentioned for the Yankees' third base vacancy, though I believe several commenters did. That name is Troy Glaus, about whom the Yanks inquired last summer. There are complications aplenty with Glaus: foot problems, $12.75MM owed to him in '08 and an $11.25MM player option for '09, a full no-trade clause, and a steroid connection. Sounds like Jason Giambi Part II.
- Francisco Cordero would be priced out of the Brewers' range if he demands a four or five year deal worth $9-11MM annually. I assume he will, though the Brewers could afford it.
Sunday morning minor rumor collection...
- There's always some skepticism from readers regarding Charley Walters rumors. Nonetheless I'll report that he names the Nationals, White Sox, Braves, Yankees, and Dodgers as teams that will bid for Torii Hunter. I don't see the Braves getting involved at $15MM per. And are the Dodgers ready to move Juan Pierre to left field already? The other clubs named seem reasonable.
- As expected, the Cardinals interviewed Chris Antonetti for their open GM position. No doubt it's an attractive position but you have to wonder what kind of autonomy he'd have with Tony La Russa around.
- Larry LaRue makes the case for the Mariners tendering a contract to Horacio Ramirez. He also notes that Jose Guillen is as good as gone and the Ms won't consider A-Rod.
- Speaking of that guy, Bill Price suggests the Mets should sign him and move David Wright to first base. Carlos Delgado I suppose would be a very expensive pinch-hitter in 2008.
- Nick Cafardo expects the Orioles to shop Miguel Tejada this winter, which would surprise no one. But he's also hearing that Erik Bedard could be available. Trades of either might be unpopular with the fanbase. The trade market for starters could be hopping if Johan Santana, Bedard, and C.C. Sabathia are made available.
- Joel Sherman says Koji Uehara is a free agent, but we have heard differently. Anyway, the success of Hideki Okajima may create a minor bidding war for Hitoki Iwase.
Let's take a look at what's going on with the Cardinals.
- Viva El Birdos has a hunch that Chris Antonetti will be the team's next GM.
- According to RotoWorld, the team has released Mike Maroth. The 30 year-old lefty was terrible with St. Louis, but will probably hook on somewhere for $2-3MM. He would've been non-tendered anyway.
- Interim GM John Mozeliak recently talked about his dealings with David Eckstein. No deal is imminent, and he may test the free agent waters. I don't see the team going with Brendan Ryan, so look for some trade activity this winter if Eckstein departs.