Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Comings and Goings

As often seems to be the case, it's time for the Tribe's mid-season team evaluation and re-tooling for next season.

Who could be on their way out? What pieces need added? We will be exploring these issues in the coming days.

Our list of players to be moved:

Carl Pavano: Definately. He's pitching well, and he's on a cheap one year deal. He won't be here next year, and a lot of contending teams would like to have him. He might attract some "bargain hunters" who are unwilling to meet the demands for Carl Pavano and Cliff Lee.

Raphy Betancourt: His $5.4 million 2010 option is a bit steep, and numerous contending teams could use back-end bullpen help. The Angels could be a strong possibility.

Kerry Wood: He's signed for $10 million per for both this season and next, and his $11 million 2011 option vests if he makes another 18 appearances this season, or 55 next season. The Tribe would love to move him, but the price tag will probably scare away suitors.

Jamey Carrol: He could easily be moved after the deadline, as he's a good candidate to clear waivers. A versatile defender whose bat will neither win nor lose you games, he'd be a great candidate to fill in for an injured or underperforming infielder on a contending team.

Jhonny Peralta: He's seemed to lose motivation since being moved to third, and has expressed his dislike for his new position. Even if he gets his swing back, a .270/20/80 bat is a lot less appealing at third base than shortstop. With Andy Marte still young, and finally showing his potential in AAA, and Wes Hodges back from injury, the time might be right to free up the "hot corner", and give Peralta a shot at starting over with a new team.

Ryan Garko: A cheap lefty-mashing bat who can be a capable 5 or 6 hitter, and put up a realiable .800 OPS. He's losing playing time to Victor Martinez, and will lose even more with an inevitable Matt LaPorta call-up. With other names like Hodges, Mills, Brown, and Weglarz lurking in the minors, Garko is the very definition of expendable.

Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee: They are both free agents after 2010, and it is unlikely that the Indians can re-sign both. Martinez has expressed a desire to finish his career in Cleveland, but Lee may have more value to the team. Do you trade one or the other, and if so which one? Would that be waiving a white flag for next season as well?

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