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The Indians are interested in Carlos Beltran too

Dec 22, 2011, 9:01 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Yesterday it was said that five teams were on Carlos Beltan’s short list. Four were named. Which means … Mystery Team.

Sadly, Buster Olney put his Jessica Fletcher pearls on and solved that mystery: the Cleveland Indians. Ken Rosenthal confirms and argues that Beltran may be a good fit in Cleveland.

Not sure I’m buying it. The Indians don’t have a ton of room — at least on paper — in the outfield with Choo, Sizemore and Brantley, who while not as good as Beltran, obviously, is someone the Indians believe in. Travis Hafner is the DH.  You can guess that both Hafner and Sizemore will miss copious amounts of playing time with injuries, but if you’re Beltran, why do you go someplace where there is even the possibility that your presence is gonna upset some current players?

A bigger issue is the money. Rosenthal argues that, while Beltran is pricey for the Indians, the team could work him into the budget. He’s right, I think, but it seems tight. If there really are five teams bidding, it wouldn’t be hard to see the $10-12 million Beltan apparently wants to creep up a bit. And every notch higher is a little larger for the Indians than it is for, say, the Red Sox or the Cardinals.

Anything can happen. We’re told Beltran will sign this week. So I guess we just watch.

  1. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there is no way Beltran ends up in Cleveland. The Tribe couldn’t afford to offer competitive bids for Cuddyer, Willingham, or Blake, all players that were rumored to be in their wheelhouse, and all of whom were cheaper than Beltran. Larry Dolan will not spend the kind of coin needed to land a player of this caliber. Look for the Tribe to sign a few more has-beens or never-weres to minor league deal with ivites to camp, in the hopes one of them finds lighting in a bottle.

    • tolbuck - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      Beltran may not end up in Cleveland, but it won’t be for the reasons you state. Did you forget at the trade deadline Beltran said he would block any trade to the Tribe despite the fact they were in a pennant race at the time? And I don’t want to hear about how they wouldn’t spend the money on Cuddyer, Willingham or Blake. The majority of fans disliked Blake the first time he was in Cleveland, and he has broken down the past couple of seasons. As for the other 2, in 3 years they will be paid more than $10 million a season for what will likely be Shelley Duncan like production. Can you say Travis Hafner contract? What a way to build a contender!

      I love the Indians, but I’m beginning to hate Tribe fans more than the fans of any other team. All they do is complain about every decision the FO makes.

      • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        And I am tired of morons who think they know baseball commenting about the Tribe. It was not Beltran that said anything about blocking a trade to the Tribe, it was Scott Boras. And if you think Cuddyer and Willingham will have Shelly Duncan numbers in 2 or 3 years, you clearly do not follow this game. Willingham has averaged over 20HR’s every year he has been in the bigs. He’s a right handed power bat, head and shoulders above any OF the Tribe currently has on their roster, with the possible exception of Choo. Cuddyer is another guy who puts up nearly 20 HR’s a year for the past 5 or 6 seasons, and is a career .272 hitter.
        As for Blake, I can only say that a majority of fans hated Jim Thome when he left, yet he was treated like a king when he return late last season.
        Please do your homework before you make idiotic posts. Every fan complains about his or her teams front office. You are clearly not old enough, or perhaps intelligent enough, to know what the Tribe has been through for the past 40 or 50 years, with the exception of the mid 90’s. The team needs butts in the seats to generate the revenue to sign free agents and infuse some talent. To get the seats sold, they need to sign a splash player, not a broken down Sizemore, and certainly not Andy Laroche or Felix Pie.

        Do us all a favor, put down the keyboard and go back to watching Spongebob…

      • tolbuck - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        Do you really think Boras would have said those things if Beltran wanted to join the Tribe? Are you that naive?

        Blake is no longer the answer to anything.

        Players like Cuddyer and Willingham don’t usually produce those type of numbers in the mid to late 30s. At that age they start to produce like Shelley Duncan. At their age, you don’t go more than 2 years on them.

        I admit I got a chuckle about the crack about my supposed lack of knowledge of the Tribe’s history. Do some research and see when they draw well. It is when they win. It has little to do splashy players. They had problems drawing when they had Sabathia and Sizemore in their primes but the team on the whole stunk. Look at the early 80s. They had guys like Sutcliffe and Blyleven but couldn’t draw flies. Why did the team stink for so long? They spent nothing on player development. There were years they had 4 minor league teams. 4. This cannot be said of the current front office. The farm system is in pretty good shape. The past couple of years they went over slot for draft choices. These days are a lot different than the dark years of the past.

      • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        I think Boras can and does, convince his clients to go to big market clubs to maximize his, and the clients money. He is notorious for steering clients away from small market teams, even if the money is equal. So, yes, I think he would slip a list of teams his guy would not want to sign with.

        I think your analogy of Cuddyer and Willingham to Duncan is laughable. Do players in their mid to late 30’s show a decline in numbers? Sure. But to compare them to a career minor leaguer is hilarious. The fact is either of those two would be the best hitter in the Tribes OF this year, and probably the next 2 years as well given the lack of depth in the farm system at this position.

        And you are making my case for criticizing this front office. Yes, the farm system is in better shape than it was in the 80’s. Yes, developing players is at an all time high. And yet, while these days may be different than the dark days of the 80’s, the results are the same. Poor attendance, no postseason, wait till next year. Last season this regime of Antonetti, Shapiro, et al, traded away the top two pitching prospects in the entire system, both of whom were at AAA and ready to contribute, for Ubaldo Jimenez. This was clearly a “win now” move, not a move for the future. So, I ask you, where are the corresponding win now moves? This was clearly not enough to get them to the postseason. They have needs on offense, and if there ever was a time for Dolan to spend some money and go for it, this is it.

        Or they can simply say the trade was a mistake, further proving my point that this FO is not competent. By signing someone that can help this season, an impact guy, they say to the fanbase that they are trying to win a championship. By doing nothing, they are saying “Hey we traded away our future, yet we are not willing to do what it takes to win now….”

        Do you honestly think there will be enough production from the lineup as is to be competitive? Surely not.

  2. tashkalucy - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    This is all a part of a grand strategy……

    Indians get Beltran, then sign Prince Fielder.

    Next they take on A-Rod’s salary in a trade for Astrubal Cabrara, Carlos Santana, and Justin Masterson.

    The team stinks as usual. The fans don’t show up.

    During the following off-season the Indians crack front office and ownership try to decide if they:

    1) Make a movie of the mess. or

    2) Petition for a government bail-out.

    • Bill - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM

      This was going so well, but I really thought you were going to end with “Reduce the season attendance to below 800,000, triggering the escape clause that allows ownership to move the team to Miami.”

      • Bill - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        A reference which must make me very, very old in 18thstreet’s eyes…

  3. 18thstreet - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    I’m sorry, but did you really make a “Murder, She Wrote” reference? How old are you?

    • philsieg - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

      Young enough to be my son. You do realize that Angela Lansbury was – and I’ll prove I’m older than dirt – dishy back in her Gaslight and Harvey Girls days. I think it all comes from her playing Laurence Harvey’s mother in Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate even though she was only three years older than Harvey.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:40 AM

        I’m exactly old enough to get that he was making a Murder, She Wrote reference without having to look it up and make sure.

      • Old Gator - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        They silvered her hair up though. It worked. But dear Buddha, she was creepy in that film. Me, I still found her a foxy practicing adult in Something for Everyone, one of the seriously underwatched and underrated little gems of cinema.

      • philsieg - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        It certainly worked. One of the more malevolent matriarchs to come out of Hollywood, along with the 33-year-old Bette Davis’ turn as Regina Giddens in The Little Foxes.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      Wow — just looked it up. Murder, She Wrote ended in 1996. I really thought it was on for about four years in the 80s. This is stunning news. I’m not going to be able to get any work done today.

      (FYI – I was born in 1975.)

      • philsieg - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        My little brother graduated from high school in ’75 just a few months after I got married (for the second time). 😉

      • 18thstreet - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        Good lord, that’s old! What was it like, back before radio?

      • 18thstreet - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:33 PM

        (I like that I got a thumbs down for being born in 1975. Or maybe just for being born, which I could understand.)

  4. alfreddigs - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Do you think he’d be up for playing some 1B? I kind of doubt it, but that’s really the only way this would make much sense for the Indians.

    • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      Unless they have determined that with the condition of Grady’s knees, he would be better off at 1B, moving Brantley to CF, and opening LF up… Who knows? My money is on them trying to re-sign Fokudome….

    • kcfanatic - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      If Carlos is smart he will play in Florida. Going all the way back to his KC days, Carlos always started slow. This was primarily due to him hating cold weather

  5. Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    Waiting for Next Year brought up this possibility about a week ago ( I thought it was intriguing then, still do now.

    The Cleveland Clinic is pretty advanced, maybe they could put Sizemore and Beltran together into one complete, healthy outfielder.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      Waiting For Next Year brings up ALL possibilities.

      If the sun rises in the west tomorrow, you’ll find an article those kids wrote about it being a possibility.

  6. tashkalucy - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Truly amazing…..

    You’re Carlos Beltran and Scott Boras.

    You can sign with (among others) the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in a baseball crazed city, or with the lowly Cleveland Indians in a city where no players, coach. manager, front office exec or owner can last even 2 years before the media attacks you daily – blaming you for all the losing – and the fans start calling you and your family names.

    The Indians as the “mystery team” helps. It makes fans think the Indians would really like to spend some money, and it help’s Boras in his never-ending quest to pit teams against one another to drive his players price up.

    It was noted the other day that the Indians have no players under long term contracts past 2013. And this is what ownerships do when they’re getting ready to sell the team. The good news for Indians fans is that perhaps the Dolan’s are ready to sell. The bad news is that MLB would like the team in another market.

    • paperlions - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      Scott Boras is NOT Beltran’s agent anymore…..hasn’t been for many many months….and his new agent (Lozano) has been mentioned in every story.

      • stex52 - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        Thanks for confirming, Paper. That’s what I thought. Not that he went to a guy with any more integrity. We can get onto AP’s case, but nobody grubs the money worse than Beltran.

    • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      Do you mean the World Champions that just lost their Hall of Fame Manager, and the best first baseman on the planet, who wasn’t willing to stay in Saint Louis after Larussa left? Please… and the last thing MLB wants is to relocate one of the old time teams. Cleveland set attendance records just 10 years ago, so the support is clearly there if they are competitive.

  7. thefalcon123 - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch has some huge news on what my be driving Beltran’s decision:

    “A source familiar with the negotations said the offers that have been presented Beltran are varied and that his decisions could come down to where he wants to play as much as how much he wants to play for.”

    Capital insight, old sport. I think we have the 2013 Spink award winner in our midst.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:00 PM

      I actually really like Goold. That was just a very silly sentence.

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