Friday, July 31

You Lost Today Kid, But That Doesn't Mean You Have To Like It

Now we come to the hardest part of any GM's job: the trades. I didn't trade everyone I wanted to, but I did trade of a lot of you.

I was thinking the other day of the feeling I had in mid to late 2007 and right before the 2008 season began. It was this feeling of "even if things don't work out at least we're going to be good, right?" Wrong. So what has happened over the last few days shouldn't come as a surprise. It is obvious that the Indians ownership kind of went for broke this offseason. Well, as go for broke as you'll probably ever see. By signing Kerry Wood and trading for Mark DeRosa, 2009 was going to be a year of giving it the old college try, so to speak. However nothing really worked out as hoped, leading us to today.

Trading Victor Martinez hurts. Trading Cliff Lee isn't too surprising. However Victor was our guy, our captain. He wasn't playing for a lot of money and he was was always a trustworthy clutch hitter. Being from Venezuela he always wanted to be a shortstop and reportedly cried his eyes out when he was told to play catcher. While he occasionally flirted with Ted Williams-like batting averages he wasn't much for the limelight. In a previous post I said trade anyone not named Sizemore, Cabrera, Martinez, and Choo and I wish things had gone that way. By trading Victor you have ripped the heart out of the Indians fanbase who probably won't return until something like 2007 happens again.

So, the question is: how did we get here? The aforementioned signing of Wood and trade for DeRosa didn't help. The team was forced into a situation of winning or at least competing this year to make good on this payroll. However, that didn't happen. So with half of 2009 gone and the Indians not really drawing much attendance, something had to be done. Yes, sticking with the team we already had was an option but that probably leaves no flexibility for 2010 and this team needed pitching. So we traded anyone we could for pitching, simple as that.

Ryan Garko is a role player but not enough at first base. So he is off to the Giants.

Rafael Betancourt had a big option on the table for next year which the Indians had no intention of picking up, so why not get something for him?

Cliff Lee is a great pitcher who was cheap and had a reasonably cheap option for 2010. However seeing the writing on the wall management decided to take the best trade they could get. Yes, the trade was underwhelming. But I'm sure it was the best one on the table. Trading Cliff Lee now was really the right choice. If 2010 is a wash getting what you could for him now is better than waiting for 2010 when his stock could be lower and teams only get a few months of service.

Victor Martinez was a forgone conclusion. Inside I want Victor to be an Indian forever but his future is pretty cloudy. He is a great-hitting catcher, but at first base he is just above average. He's 30 and catchers aren't known for their longevity. On top of that Victor's defense and ability to throw out or even hold baserunners has been criticized. Oh and he has a history of injuries. So Victor's gone. Unfortunately, as Paul Cousineau said over at the DiaTribe, to a team I can not cheer for.

Carl Pavano hasn't pitched too well of late, and thus hasn't really drawn too much attention, but I suspect he might be a waiver away from being traded, and keeping him makes no sense. The real albatross is the contract of part-time DH Travis Hafner. With all this talk of payroll and budget cuts I can't help but look at Pronk's $11 million this year and next and then $13 million for 2012 and 2013. That's a lot of years and money for a DH who can't play every day. In reality, it is a lot of money for any team let alone one as payroll-focused as our Indians.

As the title implies, while I'm going to have to accept this trade and the fact the 2010 is probably going to suck, that doesn't mean I have to like it. Actually I wouldn't be too surprised if we won more games in 2010 than we do this year.

Game 1: Edwin Jackson, RHP (7-5, 2.59) vs. Fausto Carmona, RHP (2-6, 7.42)
Game 2: Rick Porcello, RHP (9-7, 4.62) vs. Jeremy Sowers, LHP (3-7, 5.15)
Game 3: Armando Galarraga, RHP (5-9, 4.84) vs. Carl Pavano, RHP (8-8, 5.66)

So we finally have the return of Fausto Carmona. Reports have been that he's walking fewer guys but he just doesn't have the same quality major league stuff. So tonight we see what the possibly-neutered Carmona can do. The ballad of Jeremy Sowers continues Saturday. Someday he won't be on this team. I'm kind of looking forward to that day. Our staff ace Carl Pavano takes the mound Sunday. Yep, just look at those ERA's, really something to behold.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

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