Who doesn’t like finding an extra $20 in your pocket or on the sidewalk? If you’re like me, your day is made if you find a quarter on the ground.

The Indians have been having nothing but good days over the past few weeks. They found a whole fleet of Brink’s trucks parked at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.

It is amazing how television has revolutionized sports. What is equally amazing is the amount of money that can be raked in if you get the right deal. The Indians have taken on the role of the Prodigal Son; returning to the network they were carried on pre-Sports Time Ohio and throwing themselves at the mercy of FOX Sports. It may be a case of realizing that they should never have left in the first place.

The Tribe’s new ten-year, $400 million TV deal is still dwarfed by the obscenely-amounted windfall that the Dodgers will eventually get. But for a franchise that has had trouble in recent years retaining and acquiring the needed talent to remain competitive, this is the baseball equivalent of manna from heaven. And it has already paid dividends in recent weeks in giving the team the ability to sign the likes of Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and Brett Myers (and maybe Shaun Marcum?).

The Indians will still need to be smart, so don’t go counting the days until Giancarlo Stanton becomes a free-agent. But this new flexibility seems to be much more enticing to outside free-agents now. We probably won’t ever be in the mix to get the Big Boys (Pujols, Hamilton, et al.) of the world, but we might be able to afford for the solid, steady-quality kind of players, which may to fit Cleveland’s blue-color sensibilities as a city, anyway.

It may also prevent salt being dumped on deeply-cut wounds. Maybe we wouldn’t have another Thome-to-Philadelphia moment. Or Manny-to-Boston. Or CC and Lee basically telling us that we couldn’t afford them. (Choo pretty much said the same thing.) Money may be the root of all evil. But it’s also needed to keep the fanbase from wanting to write an organization off the map as cheapskates by forcing us to watch Triple-A level baseball at Big League prices.

Just think… Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to keep Jason Kipnis or Michael Brantley? Bauer? (Granted, we still don’t know much about how or even what he’s going to be yet in terms of his potential, but play along.) Now it seems possible to keep these guys as career Indians. In recent years that didn’t seem realistic, because it wasn’t. Now, at least, it seems plausible.

The way baseball is today, the wallets need to be a bit fatter than they used to be. The Indians finally found yet another way to remain above water. And it turns out they didn’t have to do a whole lot to find their lifeboat. All they had to do was turn around and find a familiar place to stay. They’re pushing a lot of buttons right now. And all of them seem to be the right ones.

They continue their return to viability with the return to FOX. Things are continuing to look far brighter in the shorter term than most, if not all of us, have likely anticipated. While the growing pains of this year will probably still happen, a new window of opportunity appears to be opening again. Money talks. Now let’s hope the Indians do the walk.

 

10 Comments

  • Thomas says:

    I’m hoping we will spend some of this money on Shaun Marcum…especially since I don’t think we are looking for a DH anymore given we reclaimed Canzler and designated Gomez for assignment. Marcum would give us another solid starter which we still need.

  • Steve Alex says:

    You don’t DFA someone you think can be an everyday player for you. Canzler will not be the DH. I like him for the bench, though.

  • Thomas says:

    I didn’t mean to imply Canzler would own the DH spot. I do think his return indicates that he will see some time there along with others, and that Cleveland may not pursue that position in free agency.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8807384/cleveland-indians-reclaim-infielder-russ-canzler-waivers

  • DaveR says:

    I don’t think retaining a Kipnis or Brantley at THIS stage of their careers is or was the issue. CC, Manny, Lee, and countless others resigned on deals early on. In fact I think we forget that CC and Manny played 8 years and Thome 12. That’s most players careers…

    Kipnis and Brantley most likely resign with the Indians now but in 6-7 years who knows.

  • BradC says:

    You will see a pool of Canzler/McDade/Mcguiness as options for DH this Spring…(Sorry got a lil long winded)

    Starting roster: Kipnis, Cabrera, Swisher, Reynolds, Santana, Brantley, Stubbs, Chisenhall, and DH of the day as the line-up (not in order)
    Bench: Yan Gomes, Lou Marson(competing for Back-up C), Mike Aviles, Cord Phelps(competing for UT), Eziquiel Carrera
    Starting Pitchers:
    Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brett Myers, Trevor Bauer(competing), Carlos Carrasco (competing), Scott Kazmir(LH)(competing)David Huff(LH)(competing), (and possibly Shaun Marcum)
    others competing but less likley: Barnes, Kluber
    Bullpen:
    Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano, Matt Albers, Nick Hagadone(LH), Frank Herrmann(LH)(competing), Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith(and a multitude of others competing)

    So essentially you have 5 starting pitchers, 8 position players, 7-8 bullpen arms, and the rest bench players to start the year (roughly 4-5 bench players)

    So depending on if Lonnie Chisenhall stays healthy this year you would have him at 3rd and Mark Reynolds as his back-up so the person on the bench would also need to be able to cover 1st and the outfield like Russ Canzler could do. So bench will have a back-up catcher, Mike Aviles UT, Russ Canzler 1B/OF, and possibly McDade/Marson/McGuiness…So all still sre viable options the Tribe just has more options now so if you wanted to have a DH by commitee it is possible and still get to use Canzler even though his OBP is not as good as McGuiness or McDade and is older.

  • Steve Alex says:

    I’m not comfortable with a Rule 5 or waiver pick-up being the everyday DH. That is an important offensive position in the American League. For all of these other moves to mean anything, we need an established hitter to fill that last spot in the lineup. I still believe they will add a veteran such as Delmon Young, Scott Hairston, or Luke Scott. That’s not to say that any of those guys will set the world on fire, but I do think we’ll see one more bat brought in. They were able to get a starting pitcher for “only” 7 million, which is actually pretty thrifty when it comes to free agent pitching, so if the rumors of an $80 million payroll are true, there’s room for one more guy.

    • Jeremy C says:

      Players havent gone through arbitration/new contracts yet. That could be the rest of the money for the offseason

  • Steve Alex says:

    It looks like you are right. MLBTR quoted Chris Antonetti saying that’s pretty much it for this offseason, barring a trade to free up payroll.

  • DaveR says:

    I suppose Perez could still be flipped for a bat.

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