It was on this day 92 years ago that Indians legend Larry Doby (1923-2003) was born in Camden, South Carolina. Doby was the second player to break baseball’s color barrier and the first to do so in the American League, playing his first game just a few months after Jackie Robinson’s debut for the Dodgers. Doby spent 10 of his 13 Major League seasons in Cleveland, hitting a whopping .286/.389/.500 over 5079 plate appearances in an Indians uniform and playing a major role in the Tribe’s 1948 World Series championship (still the franchise’s last title). For both his excellent career and his role as a pioneer, Doby was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Here’s the latest Tribe news…
- In a reader mailbag piece, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer delves into the recent trade talks between the Tribe and the Diamondbacks. Cleveland wanted A.J. Pollock when the Snakes asked about Danny Salazar, and while Arizona GM Dave Stewart liked Salazar, Tony La Russa was looking at a couple of other Indians players instead. Talks may have somewhat fizzled out at that point. The D’Backs ended up getting a top-of-the-rotation arm in Shelby Miller by dealing Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair to the Braves. A package like that may not have worked for the Indians since they wanted players that could help them immediately in 2016, and only Inciarte would’ve fit that bill.
- Also from Hoynes, the Indians’ interest in Chris Carter and Pedro Alvarez seems to have cooled. Hoynes reported last week that the Tribe was considering one of the two non-tendered sluggers as a DH option.
- The Indians have asked the Giants about Joe Panik “a couple of times this winter.” ESPN’s Buster Olney recently reported that the Tribe asked for Panik and Brandon Belt as part of a package for Carlos Carrasco. In regards to that proposed deal, Hoynes says Cleveland would’ve used Panik at second and could’ve shifted Jason Kipnis to third. Hoynes doesn’t think Kipnis would’ve been (or is being) shopped, and I have to agree — dealing Kipnis in the wake of his big bounce-back season would be a curious move, though the Tribe could command a huge return from another club.
- Corey Kluber has probably become “untouchable” in trade talks, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. The Tribe received a ton of interest in Kluber, Salazar, Carrasco and Trevor Bauer at the Winter Meetings and Pluto is doubtful that the team will ultimately end up dealing any of them. Part of the issue could be that the Tribe’s asking price for any of the starters is “way too high,” according to chatter from the Meetings.
- The Indians also received a lot of interest in their pitching prospects, with Mike Clevinger and Justus Sheffield getting the most asks and Double-A lefty Shawn Morimando also drawing attention.
- Some teams think the Tribe will deal one of Bradley Zimmer or Clint Frazier, Pluto writes. MLB.com ranks Zimmer and Frazier as Cleveland’s top two prospects, though since both are at least a year away from the majors, rivals speculate that the Indians will deal one for talent that can help them win in 2016.