While the baseball hot stove league has just barely started, it is sure to heat up soon.
The winter meetings take place next week and that is usually the place where the major moving and shaking takes place.
Going into the off-season, the Cleveland Indians were thought to be a team that could be very active this winter.
They have a solid pitching staff, and some depth as well, so the thought is out there that president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and new GM Mike Chernoff could swing some deals to bring a ballclub that finished 11th in the American League in runs scored a much needed jolt for the offense.
They did swing a minor deal getting Kirby Yates from Tampa, a right-handed reliever who has swing and miss stuff.
However, he did give up a whopping 10 home runs in a little over 20 innings pitched in 2015, so obviously the front office is looking for Mickey Callaway to work his magic with him.
But what about the offense?
The only rumors involving hitters involve older players on the downside of their careers, guys like the Yankees’ Brett Gardner and free agent outfielder Shane Victorino.
We hope these are just reporters using old information to dredge up some stories, because if the Tribe is looking at guys like these, they are on the usual Dusty Springfield approach, Wishin’ and Hopin’ (look it up, it’s a good oldie)
We have said it before, but if the Tribe is going to dramatically improve the offense, they can’t do it by adding only spare parts. They have to get a middle of the order bat, and that means moving a starting pitcher.
We have advocated that guy should be Danny Salazar for a variety of reasons.
That’s why the Indians have to go against their normal operating procedure and be bold, without giving up the farm.
We saw a piece on Marlins’ OF Marcell Ozuna, who would be a good get for the Indians, and the article said giving up Salazar for him was too much.
That’s what Antonetti and Chernoff have to guard against.
We may find out this winter, if the conservatism that has ruled the franchise over the past 10+ years was Mark Shapiro or the way the ownership wanted things.
If the Indians come home from the meetings with a guy like Victorino or Gardner, then we have our answer.
We still believe the new regime will do more. The time for boldness is this winter.