Twist the knob and put the oven mitts on, folks! The Hot Stove is cooking! It’s nearing the holiday season and the GMs can’t wait to spend either frugally (that’s likely us), dumbly (the Bow-Tied One already mentioned $100 million for Ervin Santana and that Nicky Nolasco wants $80 million; I’ll wait for you to stop crying from laughter), or going dumpster-diving that is being sold as penny-pinching (the Marlins, as usual).
This is one of the most entertaining times of the baseball calender because speculation–no matter how crazy–is flying daily. The trades from out of nowhere (it feels like we always get a bombshell of a trade every year) are always fun to analyze.
With Chris Perez and his various issues sent on his merry way and the news that the Tigers already trying to upgrade their closer from Joaquin Benoit to Joe Nathan, the Indians apparently feel the need to stabilize the ninth inning. Their first targets? Fernando Rodney and Brian Wilson.
Whether there is legitimate interest remains to be seen, and it seems like this is just a preliminary “due-diligence” tire-kicking at this stage. Wilson has made it known that it is his preference to stay on the west coast, so this is obviously a sticking point, to say nothing of how his long-term health will shake out. And Indians fans likely know of Rodney’s capability of having a meltdown at any moment (which is something we’re used to seeing, but y’know, that still kinda sucks), but he seems to be a pretty good bet to hold a low 3-something ERA, with the potential to be completely dominant, as he was in 2012.
Both guys are capable of getting the job done, but Rodney seems to be a safer bet on the surface. Especially if the Indians would prefer a personality who might not mirror that of Chris Perez. Wilson gives off the impression of a potential loose cannon–which I love, by the way; keeps things interesting–but I don’t think the Indians would be blamed for wanting a guys who know how to filter their quotes (like the Swishers, Mastersons Kipnises, Giambis or Pestanos). A powder keg-less season would be appreciated.
This also tells me that they aren’t ready to hand over the ninth inning to guys with pure stuff like Cody Allen or Carlos Carrasco (sorry, Hintz) yet. It looks like the Indians would prefer going with an established hand.
Whoever the the Indians bring in or promote from within will be an interesting subplot in the next few weeks to months. Let the guessing games begin!