The Winter Meetings bring a number of free agent signings and trades, along with a large degree of hype. Even though the Indians obviously weren’t expected to do much this year, there’s not even an Austin Kearns-caliber signing yet to report after the third day nears completion.
I figured I’d take a look at some of the rumors floating around the Indians and update a recent roster move.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com said that according to Chris Antonetti, the “Tribe has one trade proposal that “you guys wouldn’t believe. I could probably give you 50 guesses & you wouldn’t get it.” I mentioned on our Facebook page today: does this give anyone else kind of a bad feeling? As in, nothing good can come from an elusive suggestion like this? Supposedly the Indians have a few trade proposals in hand, but there are no guarantees anything happens before the end of the week.
As far as first basemen go, the Indians inquired on Derrek Lee, but it sounds like talks aren’t really going anywhere. Houston also discussed Carlos Lee with the Indians, but it sounded like they’d only be willing to pick up about half of his $18.5 annual salary.
I’m actually anxiously awaiting the marquis free agent signings – the Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and C.J. Wilsons of the bunch. Not just because that’s where the drama is this week, but because the rest of the chips start to fall into place after their destinations are secure.
One sad bit of news that was released this week: the Indians designated Hector Rondon for assignment in order to make room for Grady Sizemore on the 40-man roster. I’ve always been a huge fan of Rondon’s and I’ve mentioned him on here several times. He had Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm in 2010 but was working his way back from the procedure. Unfortunately, he broke his arm – the same arm – recently in winter ball and will miss at least six to nine months. Because of the extent of the injury and the length of the recovery, he’s unlikely to be claimed by other Major League teams; this means there’s a good chance he returns to Cleveland. He’s only 23, so there’s still a chance he recovers from all of these arm problems. I just find it very sad that such a talented pitcher keeps encountering such severe injuries. Not that it’s any more or less sad than someone like a Mark Prior; I’ve just followed Rondon for several years and had hoped to see him either in Cleveland, or approaching the Majors by this point.
In better news regarding pitchers – Ubaldo Jimenez will make his winter ball debut on December 20 in the Dominican Republic. To have any hope next season, the Indians really need Jimenez and Fausto Carmona to come out of the gate strong.
Maybe I’ll actually have something of substance to discuss over the next day or two? A “major” free agent signing like Casey Blake (or something comparative)!