Posted on: November 2, 2010 3:59 pm

Yankees favorite for 2011 World Series

You know what they say about a fool and his money… but hey, there's a couple of fools in Vegas (and some smart folks, too), but to put any money down on next baseball season before we even know what teams are going to look like?

Buster Posey Well, common sense won't stop folks from betting, and BoDog.com has its line for next year's World Series winner. And it's very little surprise that the Yankees are the favorite, while Buster Posey and the Giants are 10/1 to repeat.

Yankees 4/1
Phillies 6/1
Giants 10/1
Red Sox 10/1
Cardinals 14/1
Rays 14/1
Rangers 16/1
Twins 16/1
Braves 18/1
Rockies 18/1
Padres 20/1
Reds 20/1
Dodgers 22/1
White Sox 22/1
Angels 25/1
Cubs 30/1
Athletics 35/1
Tigers 35/1
Marlins 35/1
Mets 40/1
Blue Jays 50/1
Astros 65/1
Brewers 65/1
Mariners 70/1
Orioles 75/1
Diamondbacks 80/1
Indians 80/1
Nationals 80/1
Royals 125/1
Pirates 150/1

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 21, 2010 2:29 pm

Indians receive two for Kerry Wood deal

At the trade deadline, all the Indians wanted to do was be free of Kerry Wood's onerous $10 million salary as the club was going nowhere.

The Yankees took advantage, forcing the Indians to pay the bulk of the remaining salary in order to take Wood off Cleveland's hands in exchange for paying a small sum as well as agreeing to send players to be named later to complete the trade.

Wood blossomed as a setup man for the Yankees, posting a 0.69 ERA in 26 innings, whiffing 31 and walking 18. While his control is a concern, his production was a far sight better than it was in Cleveland, when he pitched 20 innings of a 6.30 ERA, punching out 18 and handing out 11 free passes. Wood has continued his strong play in the postseason, and should get a solid deal to be some team's setup man or closer next season.

And all the Indians got out of it was a little bit of cash relief and two players to be named later. While some PTBNLs can be of high quality (see Arizona's eventual acquisition of Tyler Skaggs in the Dan Haren deal), the Indians settled for a couple of journeyman players as the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports.

Andrew Shive Andrew Shive (right) is a 24-year-old about to turn 25 that has yet to rise above mid-Class A. He got his professional career off to a strong start after being drafted in 2008 by posting a 1.22 ERA for low-Class A, pitching 46 innings and striking out 50 while walking 17. Alas, he missed all of 2009 with arm surgery and his 2010 return was far from impressive.  He finished with a 4.56 ERA in 23 2/3 innings, walking 20 and whiffing just 14. At 25 and yet to see advanced-Class A, Shive is a long shot to make the bigs. That said, if he can reclaim the talent that got him drafted, he could rocket up the ranks quickly. The Indians are definitely gambling on Shive here.

Matt Cusick The second player, Matt Cusick (left), is less of a gamble but closer to the majors. Acquired from the Astros in 2008 for reliever LaTroy Hawkins, whatever value Cusick once had quickly evaporated the more he rose up the ladder. At 24, Cusick split 2010 between Double- and Triple-A, hitting for an overall line of .243/.318/.342 while playing second and third base. Given Cleveland has no shortage of quality young players at second and third (check out their depth here ), this deal is a bit curious. Cusick has a chance to eventually stick as a backup, but only if he reclaims the power that once made the Yankees trade for him.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 19, 2010 4:49 pm

R.I.P. Indians: Yet another building process

RIP As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions in October. Today: the last entry in the Cleveland Indians.

Poor Cleveland. They came within one win of advancing to the World Series in 2007, but since then have been caught in a web of ineffectiveness that saw Eric Wedge booted and the roster undergoing an overhaul.

It's disappointing to see a mid-market team like this come so close and have to completely scrap their entire team and start from scratch. Yes, the Indians somehow only lost 93 games with a team that should have lost much more, but the next few seasons will be about building the team back up, not contending.


You hate to see a team kicked when down, but that's exactly what happened on August 2 when the Red Sox's Ryan Kalish barrelled into Santana. The catcher ended up having to undergo knee surgery to repair his LCL. A shame given Santana (pictured, below right) is perhaps the best young catcher in the game with a .260/.401/.467 line in 192 plate appearances. He became the first Indians player since 1997 to make his big-league debut batting third. That's how good this dude is.

Meanwhile, first baseman Matt LaPorta, acquired from Milwaukee in the CC Sabathia trade, flailed in his extended shot of playing time. LaPorta is the team's future when it comes to a power bat, but the 25-year-old just couldn't do anything in 2010. He finished with a .221/.306/.362 line and 12 home runs in 425 PA and time is fast running out for the slugger. He'll get another shot in the bigs in 2011, but it's time for him to do what he does so well in the minors: mash.

Lastly, Grady Sizemore, one of the more exciting five-tool outfielders in the game, hit rock bottom. The 27-year-old cranked 33 home runs and bashed to the tune of a .268/.374/.502 line in 745 PA in 2008, but missed the end of 2009 with left elbow surgery. His return consisted of 140 trips to the plate and an unsightly .211/.271/.289 line before having surgery on his left knee for a microfracture. Can he ever regain his top form? Probably not.

Carlos Santana WHAT WENT RIGHT

The Indians did have something go right for them with the emergence of relief pitcher Chris Perez. Perez, acquired from the Cardinals for Mark DeRosa in 2009, grabbed 23 saves and wrested the closer's role away from Kerry Wood while posting a 1.71 ERA. That's above his head as evidenced by a 4.30 xFIP, but he should still turn into a quality closer. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Perez may price himself out of the team's range by the time the club is ready to contend again. Fortunately, however, the Indians should get a nice return if and when they deal Perez.

Speaking of Kerry Wood, the Indians did what so few other non-contending teams did with their veterans who weren't going to return: they got rid of them. Wood went to the Yankees and flourished as a setup man while the Indians came away with some money recouped. The club also dealt away Austin Kearns (also to the Yankees) and Russell Branyan (Mariners), freeing up playing time for Perez, outfielder Michael Brantley and Shelley Duncan.

Fausto Carmona also returned from a two-year absence as an effective starting pitcher to post a 3.77 ERA in 210 innings. The 26-year-old is locked up for years and incredibly cheap as well, which has made him very in demand for other teams. Cleveland can opt to either get a nice haul in return for Carmona or have him head up the rotation as the club rebuilds. Either way, the team has a top-flight starter for cheap.

The Indians graduated plenty of players to the bigs in 2010 that should have major impacts the rest of the way, including Santana, SP Mitch Talbot (acquired from Rays), reliever, Frank Herrmann and 2B Jason Donald. But the team needs so much more.

Fortunately, the team is rather deep in prospects remaining. Those that could help in the year 2011 include Nick Hagadone, acquired from Boston in the Victor Martinez deal. Hagadone struggled as a starter but could morph into a dominant reliever. Meanwhile, Nick Weglarz represents Cleveland's new hope as a power hitter and should debut at some point in 2011 and Jason Kipnis could wrap up the second base job for years by the end of the season.


The Indians are still in a rebuilding phase. While the team has an intriguing number of bats, they are still too young and inconsistent, while the pitching remains far off. 90-plus losses is all but certain.


The Indians figure to go after a first baseman to pair with LaPorta, a starting third baseman, and perhaps even an outfielder although Weglarz could be handed the job in spring training.

Tackling in reverse order, the Indians should stay pat and go with an outfield of Trevor Crowe-Michael Brantley-Shin-Soo Choo and filter in Weglarz and Sizemore when the two are deemed ready.

Jason Donald While third base could be permanently occupied by Jason Donald (pictured, left) or Luis Valbuena once Kipnis debuts, the team needs another year of protection. Adam Kennedy, who resurrected his career with the Nationals, could be that person. Kennedy can play around the infield and would collect enough at-bats to be worth bringing in while not stunting the development of Donald, Valbuena or Asdrubal Cabrera.

As for first base, the Indians need someone who can platoon with Matt LaPorta, but not send LaPorta to the bench. An ability to play the outfield is a plus as well, and the answer is already on the team in Shelley Duncan. Bringing Russell Branyan back isn't a terrible idea, but the team shouldn't spend much time looking for options as a backup first baseman.

Lastly, the Indians need to bring in a veteran starting pitcher who can soak up innings and mentor the young pitchers. Picking up ex-Indian Kevin Millwod could work, as well as Justin Duchscherer or Aaron Harang.


It's going to be more of the same for the Indians next season, and the team needs to find a way to develop an impact pitcher rather than the back-end types the team has proven especially adept in producing.

Check out the other R.I.P. reports here.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 15, 2010 7:25 pm

Indians OF Crowe has surgery

The Indians announced that outfielder Trevor Crowe had surgery Friday to remove loose bodies from his right elbow. The arthroscopic procedure will sideline him for about six weeks, and should not effect his preparations for next season.

In his second major-league season, Crowe appeared in 122 games, batting .251 with 20 stolen bases.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:57 pm

Does Choo want to leave Indians?

Shin-Soo Choo A Korean newspaper is reporting that Shin-Soo Choo is hoping to depart the Indians, which general manager Chris Antonetti has rebuffed.

"As with other players, I also want to transfer to a team which wins more," Choo reportedly told the Korea Times . "If I could move to a better team, I could generate a better record and improve more."

Antonetti chose to ignore the remarks, saying he spoke to Choo just prior to the season's conclusion and then spoke to him again on the phone when Choo arrived home in Atlanta. This contradicts Choo's statement that he hasn't "had any contact from the new general manager." However, Choo did imply he would be interested in staying long-term given the team has many young players.

"Choo expressed his passion for winning in Cleveland," Antonetti told the Cleveland Plain Dealer . "I will rely on what Choo told me directly rather than translated comments through a third party."

Despite all this discussion, it's largely irrelevant what Choo wants as the Indians control his rights for three more years and Cleveland would be fools to trade one of the best young outfielders in the game. The 28-year-old hit .300/.401/.484 with 22 home runs in 550 plate appearances. Since he is eligible for arbitration, both sides are discussing a multi-year extension. If that fails, look for both sides to agree to a deal without going to arbitration, something Cleveland has not done since 1991.

For Choo's part, the lefty is not focusing on himself at the moment, but rather his country.

"I will only focus on the Asian Games leaving all the work about any new team to my agent," Choo said.

Winning the Asian Games, set to be played in November in China, is crucial to Choo. If South Korea can win the gold medal, Choo may receive an exemption from having to serve two years in the military. If South Korea bows out, Choo will have to face leaving his country for good to avoid conscription.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 4, 2010 7:33 pm

Redmond officially hangs up cleats

Mike Redmond Every offseason, there's no shortage of aging, backup catcher candidates to pick from.

But Mike Redmond's name won't be among the possibilities as the 39-year-old has decided to retire, reports the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune .

"I pretty much knew going into the season that this was going to be it," Redmond said. The righty joined the Indians for 2010 after five seasons with the Twins. He hit .206/.242/.270 with 68 plate appearances for the Indians before being cut in July, capping a career that spanned 2,503 PA and a .287/.342/.358 line.

Even though Redmond's career ended by being released, the former Marlin had no regrets.

"I fulfilled every goal I had as a player," he added.

Redmond came up with the Marlins and was approached back in 1998 about hanging up his cleats and pursuing a coaching job. The then-27-year-old declined the chance, debuting later that season and serving as the Fish's backup catcher through 2004 before signing as a free agent with the Twins. Redmond became Joe Mauer's backup, playing minimally although he did get to appear in the postseason twice with Minnesota. His other postseason appearance came in 2003, when he won the World Series with Florida.

Despite his time with the Marlins and half-season with Cleveland, Redmond makes no apologies for what was his most enjoyable stop.

"Without a doubt my favorite years were the five years I spent in Minnesota," Redmond said. "The fans were tremendous. They made me feel so welcome and appreciated me so much. I'm grateful to them for everything they did for me."

Now, Redmond is ready for the next step in his career and is open to virtually any role in the game that may one day end up with him managing a big-league squad.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 2, 2010 12:29 pm

Melvin next up for Cubs

The Cubs are in Houston, and so is Bob Melvin, according to the Daily Herald of Arlington, Illinois.

That would indicate that Melvin is having his first face-to-face discussions with the Cubs about their managerial position, after previously talking with them on the phone. He'd be the third person known to be interviewed by the Cubs, along with former Indians manager Eric Wedge and Cubs legend/Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg. The Cubs also will interview interim manager Mike Quade.

Melvin, who has been working in the scouting department for the Mets, is a former manager of the Mariners and Diamondbacks. He's also thought to be a candidate for the Mets job after Jerry Manuel is presumably fired.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 29, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 2:56 pm

Tommy John for Indians' Ambriz

The Plain Dealer reports that Indians reliever Hector Ambriz, who has been troubled by elbow surgery all season, will undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery and miss most, if not all, of next season.

Ambriz, a 26-year-old right-hander, was picked up by the Indians from Arizona in last winter's Rule 5 draft. He made 34 appearances, posting a 5.59 ERA. Ambriz first reported elbow trouble in spring training and went on the disabled list at the start of the season. On September 21 he was shut down, and after consulting with Dr. Lewis Yocum, it was decided he needed the surgery, which will take place Friday.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
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