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Sizemore signs extension

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Sizemore signs extension

Unread postby Steve Buffum » Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:11 am

Six years with a team option for 2012 (!).

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2388456
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Unread postby swerb » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:00 pm

Beautiful.

This is so remniscient of what took place in the early 90's when the core of Sandy, Carlos, Albert, Kenny and co was all inked to similar type deals at similar points in their careers.

This young core was supplemented with vets like Murray, Orel, El Presidente, et al. That part hasn't happened yet here, but I have a feeling it could start to happen at the deadline this summer depending on how a few things shake out with this team.

T Minus 94 hours till 1st pitch.
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Unread postby Jumbo » Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:05 pm

Because nothing much left to talk about for the next few days except in response to whatever happens to BP. And because there's currently no "beating the dead horse" emoticon on this forum:

This young core was supplemented with vets like Murray, Orel, El Presidente, et al. That part hasn't happened yet here

Looking at the years the pitchers had before signing with the Tribe...

Dennis Martinez, 1993
15-9, 224 2/3 IP, 3.85 ERA (108 ERA+), 138K/64 BB

Orel Hershiser, 1994
6-6, 135 1/3 IP, 3.79 ERA (104 ERA+), 72K/42 BB

Paul Byrd, 2005
12-11, 204 1/3 IP, 3.74 ERA (112 ERA+), 102K/28 BB.

Granted, both Martinez and Hershiser had better careers/track records prior to their FA year (and, actually, looking again at Martinez circa 1987-92 reveals a series of dominant years)...is it blind homerism to hope/expect a similar contribution from Byrd as a vet starter? (Note: Drafting Byrd for my CSBA team in no way affected this post. :wink: )

More to the point, is it Dolan Kool-Aid to criticize the conventional wisdom that the Indians "settled" for Byrd as the cheap alternative to Millwood, but in 1994-95 their signings of Presidente and Bulldog were aggressive FA acquisitions, despite the fact that they signed both pitchers after solid, but unspectacular seasons?
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Unread postby Lebowski » Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:11 pm

The kid is a great player, but I'll play devil's advocate and point out that there is risk in offering a long-term contract to a player with one year in the bigs.

The converse is that Shapiro has made a concerted effort to lock up players before they enter their primes (Victor, Hafner, Peralta).

Does the second point outweigh the first in your opinion?
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:08 pm

Granted, both Martinez and Hershiser had better careers/track records prior to their FA year (and, actually, looking again at Martinez circa 1987-92 reveals a series of dominant years)...is it blind homerism to hope/expect a similar contribution from Byrd as a vet starter? (Note: Drafting Byrd for my CSBA team in no way affected this post. )

More to the point, is it Dolan Kool-Aid to criticize the conventional wisdom that the Indians "settled" for Byrd as the cheap alternative to Millwood, but in 1994-95 their signings of Presidente and Bulldog were aggressive FA acquisitions, despite the fact that they signed both pitchers after solid, but unspectacular seasons?

Jumbo, I see what you're getting at, but my answers would still be "yes" and "yes".

Martinez and Hershiser both had HOF resumes upon coming here. While their #'s the year previous to coming here were very similar to Byrds #'s last year, they had been pitching at that level or higher for a very long time. To this day, they are two of the smartest pitchers I've ever seen hurl for this team.

Not saying Byrd isn't a smart pitcher. He has to be to win consistently with soft stuff. And this also maybe a case of me being biased against soft throwing pitchers in their mid 30's. Jamie Moyer and Kenny Rogers are two of my least favorite players ever, mostly due to their success against us in their careers.

Byrd makes me nervous. Hes been very good the last three seasons despite arm problems in 2004. But hes 36, coming off a career year, and isn't pitching for a contract for the first time in forever.

His career up until age 33 was very average. That may even be taking it too far. Hes bounced from the AL, to the NL, then back to the AL these last 3 successful seasons ... which I think helps a guy like him.

Another thing that may bias me against Byrd was that he was very average (at best) in the playoffs last year against good hitting teams that had the book on him. I got a chance to see him pitch multiple times, and was thinking to myself "I hope this isn't the guy we get to replace Millwood".

Well ... he was.

On the flip side, it's just hard for me not to trust Shapiro at this point though.
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Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:33 am

Martinez and Hershiser both had HOF resumes upon coming here. While their #'s the year previous to coming here were very similar to Byrds #'s last year, they had been pitching at that level or higher for a very long time.

Conceded. But, note that Hershisher hadn't had a very successful season for several years before coming to the Indians. Perhaps a better comp for Hershisher is the Millwood signing last season? Then again, that signing was also treated as settling for the seventh-best option.

BTW, my opinion of Byrd increased 1000% when I saw how low his walk rates are.

But moving past that, and looking at next year. The number of spots for which the Indians need to target a veteran FA is potentially very small. Honny, Grady, V-Mart, Pronk, and Michaels return to their same roles. Marte and Garko are already penciled in to start at third and first. Barring injury, the starting rotation will essentially be the same, with one of Carmona or Sowers stepping up to replace Johnson. The other could also be in the rotation, provided that somebody is traded. Bullpens are always hard to predict, but in the non-closer role it is unlikely that Shapiro would want to take any big risks. Taking all that together, there are really only three Big Evaluations in 2006 that have consequences for the FA strategy:

1. Can Brad Snyder or F-Gutz take over RF from Casey Blake?
2. Given that (post-BP) there is no middle infield depth, should Belliard return at second?
3. Can Cabrera, or anyone else in the organization, take over the closer spot from Wickman?

It is out of these three questions that we'll know if Shapiro should target a FA next year. And, optimistically, if the answer to all three turns out to be yes...I don't see a need to sign any major FAs.
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