After all of the madness, jubilation and hoopla of the possibly franchise-altering trade settled a bit, an inevitable question was asked: “What is Asdrubal Cabrera’s situation with the team?” And as General Managers are wont to do, Chris Antonetti gave the inevitable answer: “Cabrera is still our shortstop.” Never tipping his hand.

Antonetti deserves every pat on the back and kudos you can give him for working some serious magic yesterday in generally transforming Shin-Soo Choo into four pieces that figure to be on the big boy club. However, it’s the fact that he managed to hold onto his other major trade piece to net a potential ace in Trevor Bauer may be enough to name him the Houdini of baseball. For a guy who was thisclose to being run out of town for the failed Ubaldo Jimenez trade, this was quite the huge rabbit pulled from out of his hat.

But that pressing question of what they do with Cabrera remains, and the more that I think about it, the more I believe he’s not going to be in Goodyear (at least, as a member of the Indians) come this February. The Indians still have holes to fill. And from Cabrera’s point of view, you know that the Indians are floating your name, so would you really want to come back to a team that you don’t know if you are in their plans anymore? Maybe I’m over-thinking things, but the potential for creating some bad blood between the player and team is never good.

Or he could take the whole thing in stride, understand that it’s just the “nature of the business,” put two halves together (which he hasn’t been able to really do) and remain a cornerstone player for the team. This team just took a big step forward to contention yesterday, and apparently put them on a faster track than we all believed 48 hours ago. There are still a lot of different ways this could go, but the Indians are seemingly doing the impossible by making all of us actually excited in the off-season. Besides, if Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is as crazy for Didi Gregorius as he claims he is (“he reminds me of Derek Jeter”), surely someone will give a viable return for A-Cab if he’s available.

Regardless of what happens next, Antonetti earned himself a reprieve from constant complaints about his efforts. I can honestly say that I am one of his biggest critics and I never thought I would see this day.

What say y’all? Stay or go? Let’s hear it below.


  • Josh says:

    I’m not quite sure what the Indians will do with Asdrubal Cabrera. I think they may hold on to him and see if he can string together an entire season of success when the team isn’t collapsing in the second half.

    Regardless though… I think I’ve already started drinking the Kleveland Kool-Aid again… Anyone else sipping it?

    • Drew says:

      Still too many holes. I think they will win 70 games in 2013 which should be good enough for 4th place in the AL Central. Offensively, they improved OPS with Reynolds at 1B over Kotchman, and Brantley in LF over the trifecta of terrible (Damon/Cunningham/Duncan). But in that same vein, Stubbs’ offense is a downgrade from Brantley in LF and the loss of Choo is significant. They now do not have a RF or DH. Can a rotation of Thomas Neal, Russ Canzler, or Tim Fedroff, Ezekiel Carerra fill those hole? Maybe, but the Starting rotation is still trouble. I think it is reasonable to think that Masterson will be better in 2013 and will likely be the opening day starter, and we have to hope that Bauer will age into a legit #2. But after that it gets dicey. Ubaldo Jimenez is the #3 and while I was incredibly happy about the trade 16 months ago, I loathe it now. Alex White and Drew Pomerantz nearly had their careers ended by Coors Field, and I think you will find that Jeremy Guthrie’s ERA will drop by at least 2 runs now that he is gone. It worked for Esmil Rogers. Zach McAllister is the #4 and who is #5? Cory Kluber, Jeanmar Gomez, or Carlos Carrasco? That rotation will not give the bullpen a chance to hold a win more than 50% of the time.

      • Drew says:

        I meant that Stubbs is a downgrade over Brantley in CF.

        • Josh says:

          By Kool-Aid I was less referring to the 2013 season, as opposed to the franchise in general. Most reports have it that Cleveland is going hard for Edwin Jackson and Nick Swisher. (dream scenario)If they could acquire both, i don’t think stubbs would even be a starter. Stubbs would go to a 4th OF or a platoon with canzler in left in which he would be useful.

          Rotation would be, 1. Masterson 2. Jackson 3. McAllister 4. Bauer 5. Carrasco 6. Kluber 7. Huff 8. Gomez. This would at least make it respectable, if not solid. Too many people forgetting that before Carrasco was having elbow issues he was starting to figure things out and was looking like he could be a legitimately solid MLB starter.

          In reality what I was referring to though was the fact that since the Indians announced that they had brought in Francona to manage the team, the entire vibe of the orginization has changed. They’re chasing free agents, and actually being considered by them. Even if they haven’t landed any of them, 4/44 to Victorino is like out of this world for this orginization. The thought that the Indians could be looking to go 4/55+ for Swisher is crazy compared to what we’re used to. Antonetti just spun a trade that is being labeled as a complete destruction of Arizona in the advantage of Cleveland (and Cincy). It’s this sudden change in the entire feel of the team that has me lured in with hope. Will my hopes and dreams be smashed? It’s likely, but I’m planning on living beyond the 2013 season (hopefully) and with the future starting to seem brighter, I’m getting excited.

      • Portland Reign says:

        We are at least two-three years away from taking the top spot from the Tigers in the Central. If that is the thinking by the front office then there is no reason to keep AC. If you don’t find a suitor with the right package, you wait and trade him at the deadline. If there is nothing at the deadline, there is always next year. But they need to trade him. He always has a great first half so he should be extremely marketable. The hope is that Lindor is ready in two, until then Aviles is always a decent fill at short.

  • Steve Alex says:

    Ship him. The team is rebuilding. Bauer will not be an ace or #2 pitcher at age 21 with 4 ML starts under his belt. It takes time, and there are too many holes to fill in the short term to think about contending this year.

  • Chris says:

    Here’s what I think: The tribe should keep Asdrubal if and only if they can also land an impact bat (read Swisher, Nicholas) to man right field. If they can do that then I think you keep cabby as a stop gap until Lindor is ready. I think a team with Swisher Reynolds Kipnis Brantley Chisenhall Cabby Stubbs Santana and say Canzler could actually be competitive in the AL Central esp if the starting pitchers figure things out and if the bullpen continues to be an asset. At that point I say they try to compete through the first half of the season and then if things go sour keep cabby on the block at the deadline for contenders to bid on cause with a year and a half contact he would still net more at the time than a pure rental player. In my opinion AZ could even be a suitor if they end up contending and Gregorius doesn’t prove ready to be an MLB ready SS in his first year.

    However, if RF is gonna be a cheap platoon (ala LF last year…) then I would be in favor of the Tribe trading Cabby as long as they can net an above average to exceptional return. Preferably another starting pitcher like Bauer with many years of club control.

    Just my $.02 though.

  • The Doctor says:

    might as well get something for him while we can – it’s not like he’s the missing piece to the playoff run puzzle.

    we’re talking about a team that could very easily set a new single season team strikeout record with reynolds and stubbs in the mix (at least we got rid of travis “watch 2 fastballs down the middle and then swing at a slider at his ankles” hafner) and that has maybe 1.5 competent starting pitchers. i’m as big a tribe fan as any, but there’s a difference between being a fan and being delusional. if garbage like victorino is getting 11mil/year and edwin jackson and kyle lohse are considered bank breakers, short of the sultan of brunei buying this team, we’re boned.

  • Steve Alex says:

    If they added Swisher and a solid starting pitcher, then it might make sense to keep ACab and try to win. But we’re already pushing our luck (and 400 strikeouts) with Stubbs and Reynolds, and we haven’t even talked about a DH yet.

  • Swift says:

    No, no Kool-Aid for me thanks. I’m in a wait and see mode. As others have said, there is a lot of stikeouts coming up(given the Indians, probably with the bases loaded) and there is still a lot of holes, particularly in the pitching staff. I suspect they will be better, but that’s not saying much.

    As far as ACab, it completely depends on what you can get for him. I have no problem seeing him stay; I don’t want to see him traded in a bad trade, just for the point of doing “something”.

  • SeattleStu says:

    the only kool-aid i’m drinking is the jonestown variety to avoid watching another season like the last few years….folks, get ahold of yourselves….nothing has fundamentally changed.

  • Tribefan1968 says:

    If the Indians sign someone like Edwin Jackson as a starter and Swisher or Ross as right fielder, then they should keep Cabrera. If they don’t contend, then they can always move him at trade deadline. If an outfield or starting pitcher hole remains open, then they will probably trade him this off-season.

    • Portland Reign says:

      They will not contend with Jackson and/or Swisher. The Tribe doesn’t have enough money to sign both players this winter and my hope is that they don’t sign either. Jackson is not worth what he wants at 4 years, 44 million. If we can trade AC, lets say to the Mariners, who are loaded with pitching talent in the minors, then we have a shot at something. Until we start getting a decent pitching staff, we are going nowhere. Develop and build from within. We have already started, why go out and sign average players to a huge burden of a contract?

  • S C Cleveland fan says:

    Lets not jump so quickly to give Antonetti a pass on this trade yet! I’m still wandering why the diamondbacks gave up on Bauer so quickly? He could turn into another Jiminez or worse. Lets wait and see what happens down the line awhile and what else the Tribe does in the FA market and trade wise before spring training!!

  • adam says:

    Someone said and i quote >>>> But in that same vein, Stubbs’ offense is a downgrade from Brantley in LF …….This makes no sense because your not losing Brantley’s bat and your gaining better defence in Stubbs over Cunningham/Damon/Duncan whose offence/defence sucked terribly……As far as holes the only thing they need to do is get another good right handed hitter and 1 or 2 good starting pitchers….The rest of the team is looking great….They have the best 7th and 8th inning pitchers in the game and even though Chris Perez has a big mouth he is a prety dam good closer….. If we can get our starting pitching in order the Indians are going to be a tough team to beat an as far as trading Asdrubal Cabrera i would not do it because he is a great clutch hitter and i don’t want to lose that….I would bat him 3rd or 5th in the lineup

    • Drew says:

      You missed where I corrected myself. Stubbs’ offense is a downgrade in CF over that of Brantley. I am making the comparison purely at a position by position level. LF is vastly improved, while CF and RF are downgraded by the trade. A Swisher signing would fill the RF gap but the DH gap still remains. I am very nervous about the rotation and have no delusions to believe that anyone other than Masterson and Bauer have a chance at a sub .400 ERA. If you cannot count on your starter to give you a quality start, then the team sans Choo will be in line for a sub .500 season and likely 4th place in the AL Central.

      I like Swisher, mainly because I share an alma mater with him. But his expense doesn’t assure me that he is that much better than a Russ Canzler or Thomas Neal who can be had for 1/32 of the cost. Sure Swisher is worth an average WAR of 2.0. 2 games is a lot to a team expected to win 88 games but to a team that will likely finish with 70, does it really make sense? I know he would come in a 4 or 5 year deal where he would be 36 or 37 at its conclusion, but the Indians would have 4 seasons to make this one work.

  • Steve Alex says:

    It’s not fair to judge Antonetti in hindsight by what a prospect does or doesn’t do in the future, because you never know for sure that even the best prospect will develop. You have to judge it right now based on known facts. Most people seem to think Choo for Bauer was a good to great trade for the Indians. Jimenez was already in steep decline when we traded for him. Jason Knapp was already hurt when we traded for him. Antonetti deserved criticism for those trades at the time they were made because those players’ failures were expected or at least foreseeable. I am a little concerned that AZ would give up on Bauer so quickly, but there doesn’t seem to be a physical reason for it, just a philosophical one.

  • adam says:

    Since we are rebuilding i might trade Acab for a good starter and a couple promising prospects

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