The Cleveland Indians’ front office has been so inert in recent years; they are starting to get credit for doing anything.
So, the fact they are talking about trades and/or signing free agents at the winter meeting is making some fans happy.
That’s setting the bar very, very low.
First of all, they should be making moves to help the team win, that is their job. However, that’s not good enough either. They should be making good moves to improve the ballclub. Making the wrong move is worse than no move at all.
You hear this from some fans and even some in the media about the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. They say you have to give the front office credit for taking a risk.
We didn’t like the trade at the time because GM Chris Antonetti gave up his top two pitching prospects (and three in the top ten organizationally) and didn’t get a true ace in return. You have to get a #1 starter if you are doing that, and to this point, Jimenez has been a bust.
Here’s hoping new pitching coach Mickey Calloway can straighten him out because he doesn’t have sound mechanics.
We read similar comments about the Indians’ offer to free agent OF Shane Victorino, which was reportedly four years totaling $44 million.
This would have been a bad contract, so why give the front office credit? Victorino is 32 years old coming off a poor season, and over the past two years has been a poor hitter against right-handed pitchers.
Unless of course, the front office was saving face because they knew there was no way the outfielder was going to take their offer.
Since the Indians claim they can’t spend a lot on payroll, a contract like the one they offered to Victorino would come back to bite them.
There was excitement regarding a possible megadeal involved Cleveland, Arizona, Texas and one other team in which the Indians would be dealing SS Asdrubal Cabrera and received three or four (depending on the report) major league ready prospects.
That deal or a form of it may occur down the line, but at this point Cabrera is still an Indians.
Cleveland is also believed to be in on free agent OF Nick Swisher, but so are other teams.
So basically, the Indians haven’t done anything thus far to improve their team. And then they wonder why they have a problem selling tickets and generating interest.
Any buzz created around a professional franchise has to be created in the off-season, and right now, less than three weeks before Christmas; the Indians have done nothing except hiring Terry Francona as manager to make anyone think anything has changed.
And managers do not sell tickets.
Again, this is not to say that Antonetti should make a move just to say he did something. That’s not enough. But he hasn’t done a darn thing to show fans, which buy the tickets, that this is a team to come down and watch.
Is it too much to ask the Indians’ management to make moves that will help the franchise in 2013 and not hamstring it for the future?
No. That’s their job. They are supposed to be experts in evaluating talent and deciding what fair market value is.
Now there is still time to make some moves to improve the 2013 edition of the Cleveland Indians. It’s just a little disappointing that nothing has happened as of yet. If the team wants some ticket buying momentum in the gift giving season, they need to do something sooner rather than later.