Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com discusses some Tribe topics in a fan mailbag…
- Castrovince thinks Michael Brantley will be in Cleveland by midseason, as the Russell Branyan signing was made with an eye towards postponing Brantley's major league service clock. A strong first half of the season for Branyan could get the veteran traded, thus creating regular playing time for Brantley in left field and Matt LaPorta moving to first.
- Speaking of veterans being dealt, Castrovince says "it's hard to imagine Jake Westbrook, Kerry Wood and Branyan remaining with this club beyond the 2010 season, and Jhonny Peralta's future here is also in question."
- We've heard about Shin-Soo Choo's looming conflict with his South Korean military service and how it may affect his playing career. Castrovince argues that a compromise (such as Choo postponing his service until after his career is over) would work best for both the player and the government. Castrovince notes that the South Korean government might not want to be seen as forcing one of the country's sporting heroes away from playing major league baseball.
- In the wake of Choo switching agents from Alan Nero to Scott Boras, Castrovince reported in a separate blog post that another Nero client in Cleveland (Asdrubal Cabrera) "has no plans" to change his representation. Castrovince also notes that Boras has his eye on Indians prospect Carlos Santana and is "pursuing him hard."
- In another article, Castrovince discusses Grady Sizemore's future with the Tribe. He believes that Sizemore's contract is structured well enough that "the Indians find it difficult to imagine a scenario in which they'd be compelled to deal him to another club in either of the next two years."