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What's bothering Hafner?

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What's bothering Hafner?

Unread postby consigliere » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:42 am

Ingraham with a nice piece today. Wow, it looks like Pronk did not turn down a 5 year $60M deal as Gammons reports, but instead the deal was 4/60 or 5/70. Either way, the Indians were gving him $15M per. That is MORE than reasonable. What is Hafner thinking???? I think his slump IS in fact tied to the contract issue, and he may be having second thoughs about it:

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?news ... 6370&rfi=6

The longer Travis Hafner's slump continues, the more likely it seems that it's something other than a lack of the proper mechanical adjustments at the plate that is the problem.

Hafner's beyond that.

He has been a productive major league hitter, a star quality hitter, for three years. Hitters of that caliber don't suddenly lose it at an age when they should be moving into their prime.

Ok, except for Carlos Baerga.

So at this point it seems fair to assume that Hafner is more mentally distracted than mechanically challenged. It seems fair to assume that he's being distracted by outside issues. Like what? Oh, I don't know, like maybe his contract situation?

As you might recall, negotiations on a extension for Hafner, who can become a free agent after 2008, progressed into the opening weeks of the regular season, but then they were abruptly halted without an agreement being reached.

Is Hafner's season-long slump being caused by some internal distress over the money he left on the table? Is it caused by his disappointment over the Indians' offer? Is it caused by the knowledge that it's a gamble to turn down millions of dollars when one ill-timed injury can prevent you from ever getting the contract you think you deserve?

None of us can climb into Hafner's head to know what he's thinking when he steps into the batter's box. But he's clearly been distracted this season, and his contract situation is the most logical explanation.

According to one source, the deal Hafner turned down from the Indians was for five years and $70 million. Another source said that's a little high, and that the offer was actually one year and $10 million less than that.

Either way, that's a lot of money to walk away from, even for a guy who leads the league in walks. Jake Westbrook, who certainly could have gotten more in the free-agent market, jumped at the Indians' three-year $33 million offer. Westbrook signed that contract, and a week later he was on the disabled list with an injury.

Think that might have gotten Hafner's attention? I'm not saying Westbrook was right or wrong to jump quickly at the Indians' offer, nor am I saying Hafner is right or wrong by not doing so.

But with all this stuff swirling around Hafner, who has never before been in this situation -- i.e. impending free agency -- it's not unreasonable to assume that when he steps into the batter's box there's more going on inside his head than trying figure out how to pull a 95 mph fastball.
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Unread postby noles1 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:49 am

I'm not sure what it is but with each struggle at the plate I think he be lying if he said it wasn't crossing his mind at all after games he looks up and sees an 0-4 with 2 K's.

Frankly if that is what the Indians offered or even remotely close then I think Travis was a fool not to take it and the Tribe should NOT go higher. They were more than generous, (Look at David Ortiz's contract!) and if he doesn't take it shift it towards C.C.'s deal.
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Unread postby Prosecutor » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:26 am

Hafner already has an elbow problem and he gets hit as often as any player in the league. Last year he missed the final month of the season with a broken hand. I know he's wearing an elbow pad, but what happens if he gets hit on the elbow and suffers an injury that affects his swing? What if he gets hit on the wrist and breaks a bone?

If Pronk left $60 million on the table, then he's playing with fire. He has to hope that he can play 250 more games without getting hurt while continuing to put up the numbers he put up last year, which he isn't doing right now. That's a lot of stress, and I'm not surprised that it's getting to him. Last game he struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that was shoulder level, and I've never seen him do that before. He's really starting to press.

Why not just take the $60 million and relax? The alternative is to run the gauntlet for the next 16 months and gamble that he won't get hurt and that his production returns to normal, then he might be able to get something like $90 million.
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Unread postby noles1 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:49 pm

Frankly I'm leary of the $60 million not only because of his performance but because of his age during the last 2 years of that deal...
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Unread postby TribeinLA » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:40 pm

Pronk won't be an Indian for long it appears.

Like already stated above, concentrate on getting CC and Carmona in the same rotation for the next 3 years.
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Unread postby psk678 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:12 pm

wow, thats really interesting to find out he declined an offer for more money than initally reported. It pains me to say this, but Hafner might be on his way out.

Any chance we ship him out in a blockbuster type deal involving a corner OF (Craw daddy from TB really gets me atwitter)or just wait til next year and concentrate on Carsten Charles?
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Unread postby noles1 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:36 pm

If Hafner were to be dealt it would be in the off-season or if we are playing poorly early next year. I can't see how he would be dealt this year unless we would get a guy like Crawford, which I see happening by about a .02% chance.
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Unread postby TribeinLA » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:58 pm

which I see happening by about a .02% chance


So, you're saying there's CHANCE.

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Unread postby DarNoor » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:13 pm

I can't believe he turned down that much. If he continues to produce like he currently is thru the rest of this year and next, is he going to get that kind of an offer again? I don't see how.
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Unread postby tribefan333 » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:14 pm

Like I said in the other thread, if Pronk wants to reject that kind of f****** money, let's get CC then worry about Hafner.
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Unread postby Get_Wedge_Out_NOW! » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:14 pm

CC back anyone?

Hafner can leave if he wants mad cash and hit 10 homers... LOL


is he joking?
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Unread postby jb » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:48 am

Sorry I cross threaded this one somewhere in the Detroit post.

First, IMhO the Tribe kind of has a record of "embellishing" contract details. They did it w/ Manny and the deferred money issue. So I don't know what to believe exactly.

But if they can get Hafner to crack during the season adn show "loyalty" by upping their best offer now even as he slupms, then this may be their best shot.

Please have learned fom the past. If Pronk hits the open market, there is NO chance he comes back. None, nada, zip.

CC is already gone. By any objective measure, he should be, and they should let him go. It is huge that Adamn Miller get up to the majors next year and he and Fautso are groomed to be the 1 & 2 guys, and that leaves guys like Lee, Jake and maybe Sowers if he can get right as your back roation guys

Miler is now the fulcrum. Fausto definately has top of rotation stuff - if he can get mentally tougher.

Losing Pronk is gonna be a huge setback. You can see how bad it is w/ him in a slump. This owuld be the "new normal" and there isn't any real power ( 40 HR + ) coming up I can see. Feel free to correct that observation.
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Unread postby psk678 » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:41 pm

JB, I'm sorry man, but I've got a problem with what you're saying about C.C. I was never a huge C.C. fan and I am still not a huge fan. But when you look at pitching these days and how valuable it is, C.C. is an absolute hot commodity. Left handed, 26 and a god damn good No. 1 starter. That last sentence is something very rare these days in baseball.

As for Carmona and Miller......Fausto has been lights out this year. I stress this year. I am sure this guy is the real deal, but I am not ready to put the stress of leading a pitching staff at this point in his career. Adam Miller has yet to pitch in the major leagues, plain and simple. I'm not saying that he won't be good at the next level, we just don't know.

What I'm trying to say is that pitching is such a valuable asset in the offense laden American League, and we should exhaust all options to have him remain in a Cleveland uni.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.....
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Unread postby furls » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:50 pm

If it is between Sabathia at 20million per year or Hafner at 15, I will take Sabathia at 20million. Sorry, DHs are just not worth as much as aces. I am not sure that it really matters because Sabathia has not really struck me as a Clevelander or a "loyalty guy," nor does this seem to be an establishment that breeds loyalty.

The Indians will not be able to match the bottom line from a pitching desperate NY team or a deep pockets hometown CA team (Dodgers, Angels, or Giants). Keep in mind guys, Sabathia (who is from Cali) still has that ridiculous house in Cali that we all saw on cribs. I bet he would like to play ball a bit closer to it.

In the end, I doubt that the Indians can pay the money to keep Sabathia, and I am not sure that they should pay the money to keep Hafner.
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Unread postby TribeinLA » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:07 pm

It's ean easy, easy decision - pack up Hafner and move him. CC is worthy every penny. He's only 26 is right! His best yeasr will be between now and the age of 32. Unless he's ousted from the majors a lil early due to injuries, he can go 200 IP and 200 K from here until 2015. CC is worth it where as Hafner (who we can find another of) is not.

Our most important guys to build team around:

1. Sabathia
2. Sizemore
3. Victor
4. Carmona
5. Hafner

Sabathia trumps anyone on this team as far as it coming down to a "We can only sign one of the two/three of the five".
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Unread postby ArtGold » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:17 am

Since Hafner and Sabathia have the same agent, and Hafner turned down what we all generally feel was a generous Indian's offer, what make you think Sabathia is signable by the Tribe? How do you know he won't want $170 million for 8 years, and if so, would you do it?
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Unread postby tribefan333 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:22 am

That's right. If a slumping DH denies that money CC has the sky as the limit on this one.

It's a chess match, luckily Shapiro-when he has money to spend-is an ace.
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Unread postby jb » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:31 pm

psk678 wrote:JB, I'm sorry man, but I've got a problem with what you're saying about C.C. I was never a huge C.C. fan and I am still not a huge fan. But when you look at pitching these days and how valuable it is, C.C. is an absolute hot commodity. Left handed, 26 and a god damn good No. 1 starter. That last sentence is something very rare these days in baseball.

As for Carmona and Miller......Fausto has been lights out this year. I stress this year. I am sure this guy is the real deal, but I am not ready to put the stress of leading a pitching staff at this point in his career. Adam Miller has yet to pitch in the major leagues, plain and simple. I'm not saying that he won't be good at the next level, we just don't know.

What I'm trying to say is that pitching is such a valuable asset in the offense laden American League, and we should exhaust all options to have him remain in a Cleveland uni.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.....


I love CC.

My take is in no way based on CC. I agree with your view of him.

My take is 100% based on the Tribe. We are simply going to have to be like Oakland and just develop our own replacements to reload rather than keep our good players. It is our lot in this Moneyball life with this market and this owner and this fan base.

Dude, it is BECAUSE CC is a stud and is young and hasn't been rode hard & put to be wet that I say we have zero shot at signing him. The big market teams are going to be all over him. The guys is from SoCal. He may like us. He may enjoy the club and being here. But he won't take a significant cut in market value to stay. And why should he be expected to do so? And you dang well KNOW we won't offer him fair market value for what else he'll get.

I guess that's what I meant by:

CC is already gone. By any objective measure, he should be, and they should let him go.


I am not dissing Carston. I am not undervaluing him. Heck, I'm not even into DIACF bashing. I'm just looking at reality and track record. The last time we kept one of our own premium players we developed when he came up for his big unrestricted deal , let alone a top of rotation LHP was..... never?

And you folks are talking about CC staying and us seriously being able to do that financially? I am not being disrepsectful to you or anyone else but I think that is an absolute fantasy. Ain't happenin'.
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Unread postby psk678 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:43 pm

JB wrote:
psk678 wrote:JB, I'm sorry man, but I've got a problem with what you're saying about C.C. I was never a huge C.C. fan and I am still not a huge fan. But when you look at pitching these days and how valuable it is, C.C. is an absolute hot commodity. Left handed, 26 and a god damn good No. 1 starter. That last sentence is something very rare these days in baseball.

As for Carmona and Miller......Fausto has been lights out this year. I stress this year. I am sure this guy is the real deal, but I am not ready to put the stress of leading a pitching staff at this point in his career. Adam Miller has yet to pitch in the major leagues, plain and simple. I'm not saying that he won't be good at the next level, we just don't know.

What I'm trying to say is that pitching is such a valuable asset in the offense laden American League, and we should exhaust all options to have him remain in a Cleveland uni.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.....


I love CC.

My take is in no way based on CC. I agree with your view of him.

My take is 100% based on the Tribe. We are simply going to have to be like Oakland and just develop our own replacements to reload rather than keep our good players. It is our lot in this Moneyball life with this market and this owner and this fan base.

Dude, it is BECAUSE CC is a stud and is young and hasn't been rode hard & put to be wet that I say we have zero shot at signing him. The big market teams are going to be all over him. The guys is from SoCal. He may like us. He may enjoy the club and being here. But he won't take a significant cut in market value to stay. And why should he be expected to do so? And you dang well KNOW we won't offer him fair market value for what else he'll get.

I guess that's what I meant by:

CC is already gone. By any objective measure, he should be, and they should let him go.


I am not dissing Carston. I am not undervaluing him. Heck, I'm not even into DIACF bashing. I'm just looking at reality and track record. The last time we kept one of our own premium players we developed when he came up for his big unrestricted deal , let alone a top of rotation LHP was..... never?

And you folks are talking about CC staying and us seriously being able to do that financially? I am not being disrepsectful to you or anyone else but I think that is an absolute fantasy. Ain't happenin'.


You know what, you could very well be right. CC might be gone already.

But, with the Hafner contract situation playing out as it is, this might be the turning point where we say, "Fuck Pronk, let's go after CC". If that's the case, whats stopping us from paying CC fair market value and dumping a ton of money on him, is that out of the realm of possiblility? I don't think so.

And I know he's from SoCal and he's got that house on cribs and this that and the other, but I just think if we offer him a shit-ton of money, he'll bite. And you're right, especially this day in age, we need to rely on our young farm talent to replenish talent that signs elsewhere, but I think this should be the exception and hopefully Shapiro and the Dolan's will have the foresight to throw a king's ransom at the dude.

Also, the odds of us siging both Haf and CC were none to none. So this kind of forces our hand and puts the FO in the position to solidify our staff by re-signing our ace.

And it's been said before and I'll say it again.....you can never have enough good pitching.

Bottom line, I hope you're wrong about how the past has dictated how we go after players, But I can absolutley understand your viewpoint and like I said, CC might have his decision already made.
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Unread postby jb » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:30 pm

By "his decision is already made" I mean to hit the open market to see what he's worth.

but I just think if we offer him a shit-ton of money, he'll bite.


Oh hell, you are 100% correct. CC has absolutely nothing against C-town, and all things equal, I think he'd just as soon stay. He's probably even forgiven Damon Stringer. :lol:

The problem is the definition of a "shot-ton of money".

There's what you think that means. There's what I think that means.

Then there will be what Paul thinks that means, and then what Mark thinks that means.

And I am as certain as anything I will ever be associted with being certain about that what Paul and Mark will think that means will not jive with what the MLB FA market thinks that means. Not by at least $ 5 - $ 8 mil / season. And given that CC has no ties and never been anything but a stand up guy, why should he be villified for taking that extra amounts?

but I think this should be the exception and hopefully Shapiro and the Dolan's will have the foresight to throw a king's ransom at the dude.


There is no exception. They can't and won't do it. Man, don't do this to yourself. Don't rationalize and get your hopes up that we'll keep a premium player we developed for fair market value. You are just torturing yourself as if Jobu has a voo doo doll of you.

You can't enter a $ 500,000 poker stakes game with $ 10,000. They stop yah at the door.

These guys can't and won't even offer the top deal they need to get it done to mid-level vet FA's anymore. There's no way we're signing a primo pitcher. All we get are scratch & dent'ers as FA's. Byrds and Delucci's. On occasion we'll get lucky as hell and rent-a-Millwood.

But signing or resigning a guy like CC on the open market? I'm guessing that I'd be curious as to your thinking. Put away the allocation exercise you'd do. Tell me why Paul Dolan and Mark Shapiro would.

I hope Adam's arm and Carmona's head are strong, If they are, we can survive losing CC and be a good staff. Not the staff we'd have if he were here with them, that's how legot championship teams are built, but alas, that just isn't a realistic choice.
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Unread postby FUDU » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:10 pm

Oh hell, you are 100% correct. CC has absolutely nothing against C-town, and all things equal, I think he'd just as soon stay. He's probably even forgiven Damon Stringer


I'm dying here.

:lol:

Wasn't Joey Ray hangin with them boys at some point?

Talk about another waste of talent, dude can't even get around me these days.
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Unread postby psk678 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:14 am

JB, I would like to see what your stance is on the Hafner situation, especially after he turned down that supposed 4 year, 60 mil offer.

Because when all is said and done, and we look back, can we justify saying that out of the big 3(Westbrook, CC, Hafner) we sign 1, Jake Westbrook.
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Unread postby TribeinLA » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:03 am

How Jake Westbrook makes 6 million dollars is beyond me. He better pitch like he did Sunday every time out.
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Unread postby DarNoor » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:04 am

That is why i didn't want to resign Jake. I wanted the Tribe to use that money and put it towards CC. If they didn't sign Jake to that new contract, then they could afford giving CC 18 million per year. What is Jake getting with his new deal? 11 million? And they offered CC 15? That's 26 between the two of them. They could give CC 18 and and have 8 million left over. Am i making any sense?
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Unread postby jb » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:14 am

psk678 wrote:JB, I would like to see what your stance is on the Hafner situation, especially after he turned down that supposed 4 year, 60 mil offer.

Because when all is said and done, and we look back, can we justify saying that out of the big 3(Westbrook, CC, Hafner) we sign 1, Jake Westbrook.


No.

That is to say, no more than we can justify we went oh-fer Belle, Manny and Thome in a more sensible FA market when the revenue stream was stronger and we had a much higher payroll in trems of both rank and real dollars.

Get used to it. This is baseball in Cleveland until the rules change or we stumble into another Dan Gilbert. If you have yet to read Moneyball, you just have to do so. It doesn'tmean the end of good baseball here. It does mean that it will be very difficult to actually win a title even as we can be in yearly playoff contention like Oakland and Minnesota. It does mean the end of signing or re-signing quality free agents. Hell, I am pleasantly surprised we kept Jake.

That said, there may be hope for Hafner for a few reasons.....

One, the current slump. It is obvious to anyone that turning down the deal effected him and it is on his mind. He may jus crack and say eff it, I'm signing.

Two, he's a DH. If there were ever a position to lower market value for a bona fide hitter, we've lucked into it.

Three, Pronk is his own man. He tries to come off as not smart, but you can tell he is. The agents and union and unionista players put TONS of pressure on these guys to go for the last buck. In the end, and awe-shucks big dumbass like Thome couldn't be his own man even as he had made statements and his heart told him to stay. He couldn't withstand his "Rock" , agents and others puishing him towardthe last dime becasue his character wouldn't allow it. Pronk could be the type who does what he wants to do, not unlike Mark McGuire. Cat marches to his own beat.

If Paul and Mark had half brains, they would have simultaneously gone to Pronk & his agent last week and UPPED their best offer by $ 500,000 a year as a show of loyalty while the guy was in his worst slump ever and played the loyalty & security cards as hard as humanly possible. They should have had the "Pronk Slumpbuster Night" or impromptu "Pronk Appreciation Night" and let people in for a buck and handed out rally towells or some other really ceative.

In the end, I think Pronk has like a 10% chance of resigning due to the fact he's a DH and his personality.

I'd put CC at about .00002% , and it isn't becasue he's a bad guy. As a premier, young LHP , he will command dollars you can't even rationally discuss yet. I'm serious. If he does next year what he's doing this year? A-Rod money isn't unspeakble by NY as they move into a new yard. You watch everyone laugh at me for posting that today. Then you watch what he signs for if he continues what he's doing.

But both are longshots. it's just how it is.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:02 am

:cry :cry: :cry :cry: :cry :cry: :cry :cry: :cry :cry: :cry :cry:



Only because what JB just wrote is so true.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:42 am

JB's right, if CC hits then open market then he's gone. The best hope for keeping him here beyond next year is signing him to an extension before the season begins. It's have to be for $20M per and you'd have to convince CC that he might not do as well when competing for money with Santana, Lackey, Sheets, etc.

The Indians have a good chance of securing a four year deal because of the great quality of free agent pitching available after next season. Of course, extensions by other teams can thin out that list, but I fully expect Santana to be out there.

Shapiro needs to work hard to extend CC after this season ends. If he can't do it before spring training hits then we need to trade Sabathia and get a good return. A top flight pitching prospect, strong RHed bat prospect, and another high level prospect would be what I'd look for.

I'd hate to see CC go, but Shapiro hasn't exactly ignored pitching. Carmona looks like he can lead a rotation. Adam Miller looks to have that ability too. Lofgren should be ready by the 2009 season and the Tribe is willing to sign a 4th or 5th starter in FA. Let's just hope the next one is more Paul Byrd and less Jason Johnson. There's always the chance that the Indians could pull another Millwood too - injured pitcher out to prove himself.
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Unread postby ArtGold » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 pm

I think CC is likely gone too, though I would pay him whatever constitutes fair market value. Him leaving for draft picks is not acceptable to me, especially with the known history of how players did who the Tribe drafts in the first couple of rounds. Seems like a give away to me.

At least get some mix of advanced and lower level prospects. I still think Arizona and the LA clubs look like potential trading partners for CC.

Regarding Hafner, if he is such an impressive human being why did he dump his longtime representative and friend, Paul Cobbe, for a more mercenary agent (Jeff Moorad) when it came time to negotiate a contract extension. You don't think he is just as financially oriented as Thome?
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Unread postby jb » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:17 pm

ArtGold wrote:I think CC is likely gone too, though I would pay him whatever constitutes fair market value. Him leaving for draft picks is not acceptable to me, especially with the known history of how players did who the Tribe drafts in the first couple of rounds. Seems like a give away to me.

At least get some mix of advanced and lower level prospects. I still think Arizona and the LA clubs look like potential trading partners for CC.

Regarding Hafner, if he is such an impressive human being why did he dump his longtime representative and friend, Paul Cobbe, for a more mercenary agent (Jeff Moorad) when it came time to negotiate a contract extension. You don't think he is just as financially oriented as Thome?


On losing CC for picks...

If we are contenders, then why not let him pitch out the string? If we are 10 + back next season in June doing a ChiSox, then yeah. Get what you can ala Colon. But there are worse things than letting a player contribute and leave if you have a good shot at post season, which I expect next season. It is how it is.

On Pronk changing to Moorad... great, great point. You are right. I completely overlooked that. It is a sure sign that he's going after the last dime. See yah Pronk. Stop sucking until you leave.
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Unread postby tribefan333 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:06 pm

Is anybody else still pissed off that Hafner turned down this deal? It really angers me that he would decline 15 million a year.
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