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The Indians sign Takuya Tsuchida

Oct 30, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

Indians Block C

I do not know who Takuya Tsuchida is beyond the fact that he’s an 18 year-old Japanese outfielder, but the Indians have signed him, reports Paul Hoynes. Hoynes says he’s “a left-handed hitter with speed and athleticism, who can play several positions,” including center field and second base.

The Indians don’t have a need for a center fielder or second with Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis around, but the kid is 18 so it’s not like there isn’t a ton of time to see if and where he can play. Hoynes says the Indians will probably keep him in extended spring training after the Tribe breaks camp in Goodyear.

  1. blantoncollier - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    And dont forget the Dolan’s biggest concern–he is cheap!

    • Pierre Cruzatte - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      The Dolans are in a football market trying to fight uphill against the astounding economic imbalances in baseball. They try to make decisions that make sense. “Let’s shovel borrowed money into this club to build up fan interest!” is not really a workable plan in their situation.

      • tashkalucy - Oct 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        Let’s talk about how the ownership and front office in St. Louis has to fight those impossible odds – an area the same size an NE Ohio. And of course there is Tampa Bay, a smaller area that has had a smaller payroll then the Indians the last 4 years. Want some more? There’s always more, and people that follow MLB know that the Dolan’s, Shapiro and Antonetti are nothing be excuse makers. The state of the major league team and the prospects in the minor league system is all about “imbalance” – not awful drafting and abysmal trades.

        Sure.

      • Pierre Cruzatte - Oct 30, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        (1) I am pretty sure that St. Louis and Tampa Bay television markets are larger than Northeast Ohio’s (given the size of Tampa/St. Pete and the broad geographic reach of the Cardinals), but that’s beside the point. Those teams have better front offices.

        (2) I’m not arguing that Shapiro and Antonetti have done a good job. They haven’t. (Or maybe they’re the best men for the job but have just had awful luck, I don’t know.) I’m just taking issue with the “Dolan did this because he’s CHEAP!” meme. I get that he puts downward pressure on our salary, but I think it’s because he’s a rational actor.

        (3) Cleveland fans seem to think that the choice is “the Dolans” versus “an eccentric billionaire who will lose money like crazy in order to hold up a trophy someday.” That is not the choice. If the Dolans sell, they’re probably not selling to Mark Cuban. Those kinds of guys are rare, and Cleveland isn’t entitled to one of them.

        (4) What is with people saying “the Dolan’s”?

      • tashkalucy - Oct 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        1. “The Dolan’s” is because the team is owned by 81 year-old Larry, and his 40 or so year-old son Paul.

        2. The Indians budgets under the Dolan’s have been higher then the Tampa Bays and Oaklands of the world (who can win), but far lower then what an area the size of NE Ohio should be able to cover. It is an area the size of St. Louis and Minneapolis-St. Paul, among others. yet the front office constantly gives local interviews saying it is not possible to win in a “small market” like Cleveland – the the 90′s were an aberration and will not come again (yes, that’s what these marketing gurus have told the local fans).

        3. The issue in Cleveland is that the Dolan’s said they will lay out money when the team contends, yet when the team was contending, as they were for a while the past 2 years, the Dolan’s never increased the budget substantially enough to bring in a quality veteran player or two in mid-year by taking on a salary in trade (although Shapiro and Antonetti have the farm system so devoid of prospects that no one is interested in their players in trade). On the Shapiro / Antonetti side, the only player of note that they’ve developed in-house over the past 6-7 years has been Jason Kipnis – and he hit .257 this year. Their trades have been awful, someone recently said that they acquired Astrubal Cabrara, Chris Perez, Carlos Santana, Shin-Soo Choo and Michael Brantley. That’s nice, they’re decent players but hardly stars, and that has what’s been brought in over the last 7-8 years by the Shapiro / Antonetti front office. This is a pretty abysmal record.

        4. Shapiro and Antonetti have been living off of the Bartolo Colon trade for over 10 years. Even the guy that made the trade – Omar Minaya – said he would never have traded the 3 best prospects in his farm system (Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore) if he had not been in unique circumstances – the Expos had been earmarked by the Commissioner for contraction at the end of the season and didn’t even have an owner. Minaya was hoping that bringing in a 20 game winner would get the Expos to the playoffs and spark the locals to build them a new park to stay. As Minaya put it, the Expos were going to lose those three players in a contraction draft anyway, why not use them to get something that might help the team stay in Montreal? Adding to that unique situation was the fact that the Indians had a guy working as an assistant GM for them that had worked for the Expos the year before. He knew their farm system and was the one that asked for Phillips, Lee and Sizemore. Shapiro and Antonetti got the credit, but they had no idea what to do. If you look at the young players they accepted in trades for CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez, it’s pretty obvious that these 2 guys don’t have much of an idea of what they’re doing – and it’s obvious that they could not have been smart enough to make the Bartolo Colon trade alone yet years later follow it up with the sort of transactions they did make.

        5. Cleveland fans are intense pro sports fans in spite of the fact that their 3 pro teams have sucked for the better part of the last 50-60 years. The Indians are frustrating because the ownership is lost and for some reason they think the front office is crackerjack. One would have to see how unwatchable the Indians have been for most of the last 12 years under Shapiro / Antonetti to understand why the fans are so outraged at both the owners and the front office.

      • Pierre Cruzatte - Oct 30, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        I agree with all of the above, with two exceptions:

        (1) I guess you’re still not seeing the grammatical thing I’m talking about, which is fine.

        (2) Re: the market size, they’re not saying it’s not possible to win, they’re just making the point that we have to win differently, i.e. on the back of Shapiro and Antonetti (who have not held up their end of the bargain, we are agreed).

        I strongly agree with you that “Cleveland has changed since the 90′s” is a specious argument. Now, I don’t think that method of success will work for Cleveland again (i.e. payroll near the top of the majors). But when Shapiro uses as an excuse for our attendance figures, “Cleveland has fewer Fortune 500 companies than before, we need to change expectations” I find that extraordinarily disingenuous.

  2. burm61 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    He is in line to replace Choo as the token Asian after Choo gets traded.

  3. polsem88 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    You got no marbles!!!!!

  4. tashkalucy - Oct 30, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Good to see the Indians got him, following their taking a left-handed punch-and-judy hitter #1 in the draft last year. Good to know that like the guy drafted, this kid doesn’t have any power either. For some reason the Indians front office doesn’t like home runs.

    You never can have enough left-handed hitters.

    Want to make sure Indians opponents continue to call up left-handed pitchers from Triple A every time their teams starts a series against the Indians.

    • tashkalucy - Oct 30, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      And the speed part is funny.

      Shapanetti don’t like risking guys stealing bases (even though few catchers throw out anywhere near 50% of base stealers). They put the breaks on all their guys with speed. Brantley came through the Brewer farm system as a prolific base stealer. They got him to stop doing that.

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