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!



  • Gvl Steve says:

    Invoking the Kerry Wood rule, I say never make a closer your big free agent acquisition when you have in-house options, other needs, and limited resources. I’ll bet the team waits until December or even January to look for bullpen bargains, and lets Pizza Pizza drop $30 million on a big name combustible like Nathan or Rodney. The agents have these guys thinking everybody’s worth $100M right now with all this TV money floating around. It’s ridiculous, and most of them aren’t worth half what they’re going to get. Wouldn’t you rather see the money spent to keep Masterson? That’s one guy we can’t afford to lose, not to mention the PR hit of losing another #1 starter to free agency/trade.

  • The Doctor says:

    spending money on a “proven closer” is a huge waste of resources, particularly for a team like the tribe with a small budget. promote from within, or sign a middle reliever for another team whose stats suggest he can be effective as a closer. or better yet, drop the idea of a “closer” altogether and use your bullpen as the situation demands – what a concept!

    • Peter says:

      I’m with you, Doc! I think the whole idea of a closer has become over blown. You have plenty of arms in the bull pen to get those last three outs. We didn’t have a closer last year and we still managed to win a few games!

  • The Doctor says:

    i don’t know how many of you regular readers have espn insder (which gives access to the mlb rumors section of the site), but i can’t help but laugh at how hilarious it is sometimes. it’s like espn still thinks the indians are some farm team whose job it is to trade all their best talent to other, more popular clubs. this today regarding craig kimbrel:

    Cleveland Indians: After sending Chris Perez packing and perhaps losing Joe Smith to free agency, the Indians need bullpen help. Adding a pitcher like Kimbrel could help the team advance in the playoffs. The team already has been debating whether or not to trade Asdrubal Cabrera, who could also slide over to second and replace Uggla in Atlanta. And while Danny Salazar is probably off the table, could the inclusion of prospect Clint Frazier, the Indians’ 2013 first-round pick and a Georgia high school product, help get a deal done?

    i love how they suggest salazar is “probably” off the table, but still include the name drop as if it’s a legitmate possibilty. the frazier suggestion is almost as idiotic. good franchises trade premier prospects for relievers, right? how dare the indians actually try to build a competitive team rather than shuffle their prospects to the likes of the red sox and braves for pennies on the dollar!

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