Mark Shapiro Rumors
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.
On this date in 1997, Jim Thome hit his 40th homer of the season for the Indians, who went on to win the American League pennant. Here's the latest on the current version of the Indians, who have a 0.0% chance of returning to the postseason this year, according to Baseball Prospectus' playoff odds report...
- Indians president Mark Shapiro hasn't had contact with the Cubs about their open GM job, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Shapiro is involved in making the Indians more successful on and off the field and appears to be happy in his role, Hoynes writes. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported yesterday that the former GM might be intrigued by the Cubs job.
- The Indians announced that Carlos Carrasco had Tommy John surgery in New York City today, as Dr. David Altchek repaired the ulnar collateral ligament in Carrasco’s right elbow. Recovery time is generally a year or more, so the Indians won’t be counting on Carrasco in 2012.
- Indians manager Manny Acta told Todd Wills of MLB.com that Jeanmar Gomez will be a name to consider for next year's rotation. Gomez has allowed just three earned runs in 17 1/3 innings since being recalled from Triple-A at the end of August.
- Carlos Santana could be a long-term solution behind the plate or at first base, Acta told Wills. The Indians' decision will depend, in part, on others, such as Matt LaPorta.
- The 26-year-old LaPorta has had his chances. In what amounts to two full seasons, he has 30 homers and a .234/.300/.394 line. He has always destroyed minor league pitching, but he hasn't helped the big league club nearly as much as expected.
Indians GM Mark Shapiro will become team president after the season and assistant GM Chris Antonetti will become GM. Current president Paul Dolan will become team chairman and CEO at that point.
Jim Duquette of MLB Home Plate first reported the move (via Twitter). MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince added detail and noted that the deal had become official (via Twitter). Last July, Jon Heyman of SI.com suggested this change could occur sometime.
Antonetti, 35, has already taken on many day-to-day GM responsibilities, according to Castrovince. The executive oversees player development, pro scouting, information systems, statistical analysis and video scouting. He joined the Indians in 1999 and turned down the chance to become Cardinals GM after 2007.
Shapiro started with the Indians in 1992 and replaced John Hart as team GM in 2001. Shapiro's Indians won 635 regular season games, losing 661. The Indians won the AL Central in 2007 but lost to Red Sox in the ALCS. Click here to check out Shapiro's trade history and here to look back at one of his most successful deals.
Brendan Bianowicz has more GM Trade History series updates for us. Click below to download Excel spreadsheets with info on the AL Central GMs (trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks).
- Minnesota Twins - Bill Smith
- Chicago White Sox - Ken Williams
- Cleveland Indians - Mark Shapiro
- Detroit Tigers - Dave Dombrowski
- Kansas City Royals - Dayton Moore
Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain Dealer sat down for a chat with Indians team president Paul Dolan and some other front office personnel. Lots of interesting information came to light, so let's dig in...
- Dolan indicated that the team was $16MM in the red in July and headed towards $20MM. The trades of Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, and Carl Pavano bring that number down to about $12MM.
- Jake Westbrook's injury will actually save the team money because insurance will cover about 50% of his $11MM salary.
- Had the Tribe not made any moves at the deadline, they would have been looking at about $30MM in losses next year because of declining attendance.
- Dolan has "no plans" to sell the team, nor has he received any serious offers.
- "Mark Shapiro will be the general manager next year; that has never been in question," said Dolan. "He has done a very good job of rebuilding the franchise once after the 1990s. Our fans may not realize it, but our franchise is viewed around baseball as one of the better ones in the game."
- The future of manager Eric Wedge will be decided after the season, and the $1.3MM owed to him in 2010 will "not be factor."
- Pluto also provides some notes about several Tribe prospects, including Carlos Carrasco and Michael Brantley. Carrasco was acquired in the Lee trade, Brantley in last year's CC Sabathia deal.
According to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, Indians general manager Mark Shapiro is expected to discuss manager Eric Wedge's status with president Paul Dolan and team owner Larry Dolan "in the next few days."
Wedge is in serious danger of losing his job. The Indians, 30-42 as of Tuesday night, are stuck in last place in the American League Central and have seen a major drop in attendance this season. "It's been one of those years, that's for sure," said Wedge, who is in his seventh season with the club and is signed through 2010. Look for some kind of announcement by the weekend.
Wedge has a 526-518 managerial record with the Tribe. He led them to the ALCS in 2007.