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  1. #211
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Quote Originally Posted by Damage View Post


    If this doesn't receive the "No shit" award, I don't know what will
    How'd you get the pink name?
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  2. #212
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Quote Originally Posted by IO_OGIJ View Post
    How'd you get the pink name?
    STD from the only other pink name on the board.
    Ass pennies

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  4. #213
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    http://www.indiansprospectinsider.co...approach-33391

    Tribe Happenings: Indians have a new, revised approach

    A new direction

    The offseason is officially here.

    Yes, the Indians season ended back on October 3rd, which is a little over one month ago today. But they like the other 20 teams in Major League Baseball that did not make the playoffs had to sit and wait until the World Series ended before they could officially start making moves this offseason. With the Giants finishing off a sweep of the Tigers last Sunday night, the hot stove season has officially opened.

    And with that brings the start of one of the most interesting and crucial offseason in the Indians’ recent history.

    The Indians are coming off of a disappointing 2012 campaign where they finished 68-94 and in fourth place in the AL Central Division, and marked the third time in the last four seasons that they lost at least 93 games. In response to the disappointing season, the Indians took their first step toward a productive offseason by firing manager Manny Acta at the end of September and then hired the highly regarded Terry Francona as manager just eleven days later.

    With their coaching staff for the 2013 season now in place, the focus now shifts to the hardest part for any organization: building the roster.

    Over the year the offseason has not been kind to the Indians, especially since President Mark Shapiro took over the team as general manager after the 2001 season. In almost every offseason since then the Indians have underwhelmed the fan base with bargain free agent signings and minor trades. The only exception to this being the offseason after the 2008 season when they made several significant trades and signed Kerry Wood to a two year $20 million deal in free agency.

    This offseason the Indians have a chance to correct a lot of past mistakes, and considering that their decision-making process of the past of being extremely risk averse has proven to be flawed, now is the time to make significant changes in their process.

    The entire organization got together in mid-October out in Arizona like they do every year to talk about their process and plan for the upcoming year, but this year’s organizational meetings in the land of the sun were much different than those of years past. With a new manager in tow from a very successful Red Sox organization, Francona offered some insight in the meetings and challenged some of the philosophies the organization has lived by for so long. Also, with a front office that is now squarely on the hot seat, there is more motivation to adapt and accept change because if this team continues to struggle the next year or so there will be a lot of people in the decision-making process that are out of a job.

    The entire way the organization operates is not going to change in one offseason. They are not suddenly going to be major players in free agency, take on large contracts in trades, or give mega contract extensions to their own players. Their general way of operating is really never going to change. Whether Larry Dolan is the owner or Dan Gilbert is the owner, the team is always going to be on the outside looking in when it comes to doling out contracts for the big name players.

    But what the Indians can do is modify their organizational philosophy and adapt their strategies to an ever changing market. They have been slow to make these changes in the past, but the bad taste left in the mouths of everyone after one of the worst seasons in the franchise’s history has a lot of people motivated to finally make these changes.

    And they have been made. Now, it is time to see if the Indians will truly adhere to this new plan.

    From what I have heard, the Indians will continue to operate with a risk averse approach when it comes to long term contracts, but they will no longer be so drastically risk averse and will now be more aggressive on the one and two year deals, and even be more open to some three year deals. They will take more calculated risks than they have in the past.

    With Francona in the organization the front office can listen to him and learn things, and they have. He comes from a pretty smart organization in Boston that for all the money they have and big deals they make, they draft and develop talent as good as anybody and often find good value in the free agent and trade front. Sure, they go bonkers at times for the likes of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and others, but they have also made good small budget signings over the past few years with the likes of Cody Ross, David Ortiz, and others.

    The Indians know that they have a core of internal starting pitching options that are nothing more than four and five starters. They know – but will never say it – that Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez are not front of the rotation starters and that they fit best as a third starter (if that) on a championship caliber team.

    With that in mind, their number one focus this offseason will be to add some meat to the starting rotation. They will not be able to find a top of the rotation starter in the free agent or trade market, but if they can add a couple of pitchers that can haul innings and be solid middle of the rotation starters, then a rotation with three or four dependable middle of the rotation starters is a whole heck of a lot better than a rotation with almost all back of the rotation starters like they had in 2012.

    They like the bullpen a lot and think they have a lot of depth there, and there are lots of good arms coming from a minor league system which has churned out some top level bullpen arms of late. The bullpen is an area of strength and could be where they look to trade a player or two to fill holes in other areas of the roster. This is something we saw over the weekend when they traded Esmil Rogers to the Blue Jays for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes, and Rogers may not be the last pen arm dealt this offseason.

    The lineup has its warts but there are some solid pieces to build around, and they feel that if they could significantly fill just one of the two holes at first base or left field, that they can get creative in filling the other spot as well as the designated hitter spot (a rotation of players).

    But it all comes down to the starting rotation. They know they can’t fill every hole on the roster, so the most important area of need is to fill in the holes in the rotation.

    How and who they acquire to fill those holes remains to be seen, but this offseason is much more interesting in years past because we know the Indians have a revised philosophy and a riskier approach to making acquisitions. Now we will see if they follow through with the changes, or if they get cold feet and step back into their old ways.

    They have done this before

    This new revised approach this offseason by the Indians is in some ways similar to the changes they made to their draft strategy four years ago.

    The Indians made a change after the 2007 season to have current Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant run the amateur side of things and have current Vice President of Scouting John Mirabelli concentrate more on the overall operation of the scouting department (amateur scouting, international scouting, pro scouting, advance scouting, etc). At the time Mirabelli was running everything and Grant was the assistant scouting director on his staff.

    Mirabelli still has a big presence on draft day and ultimately everything still goes by him, but they made the change in responsibilities and also changed some things philosophically to be more aggressive with their draft picks, and it has resulted in an improved showing with their drafts since Grant took over in 2008. Players like Lonnie Chisenhall, Cord Phelps, Zach Putnam, Alex White, Jason Kipnis, Corey Burns, Drew Pomeranz, and Cody Allenhave all made the big leagues out of his first four drafts from 2008-2011.

    It takes a good seven to ten years after a particular draft to get a good read on how successful or unsuccessful it was, but the early returns favor what the Indians are currently doing in the draft with their more aggressive approach. Their drafting has been from perfect over the past five drafts since Grant took the reins, but it is hard to argue with the results so far compared to the drafts from 2001-2007.

    The Indians missed on a lot of their early round picks during that time, and part of the Indians’ current problem is some of those drafted players from that period should now be core pieces to the team. At the moment only Vinnie Pestano (2006, 20st round) and Tony Sipp (2004, 45th round) are core pieces to the team. In fairness, some of the players that could now be core pieces to the team were given up on in Cleveland or were traded away and have gone on to have more success elsewhere, players like Chris Archer (2006, 5th round), Kevin Kouzmanoff (2003, 6th round), Jeremy Guthrie (2002, 1st round), and Luke Scott (2001, 9th round).

    In a strange way, almost all of their productive players from those drafts from 2001-2007 were either traded away or lost on waivers or in the Rule 5 Draft. And the results from 2001-2007 do not include unsigned picks like Tim Lincecum and Desmond Jennings in the 2005 Draft. So the drafts were not as bad as they look on the surface, but the process with which they aggressively drafted and signed players has since changed.

    The Indians have shown in the past that they are committed to their plan, even though it may have been flawed, be it the draft strategy from 2001-2007 or the philosophy with player acquisitions at the big league level for the past decade. Mirabelli and Grant adapted and adopted the changes made in 2007, so hopefully GM Chris Antonetti is ready to follow suit and embrace the changes made by the organization this offseason and follow them through.

    Youkilis a no-brainer

    With the offseason underway, one name that looks to be on the Indians’ short list this offseason is Kevin Youkilis. He had his $13 million option for next season declined by the White Sox last week, making him a free agent. Now that he is free to negotiate and sign with any team, the Indians are expected to be one of his biggest suitors this offseason.

    Youkilis, 33, hit .235 with 19 HR, 60 RBI and .745 OPS in 122 combined games with the Red Sox and White Sox. The overall performance is not great, but he played well with the White Sox once he was traded there hitting .236 with 15 HR, 46 RBI, and .771 OPS in 80 games. He also has a history of hitting lefties well, and last season continued that hitting .275 with a .878 OPS against them (.220 AVG, .693 OPS vs. righties).

    Up until this past season Youkilis had been a very productive player for the past half-decade or so, and continues to be one of the hardest outs in the game with the way he battles every at bat and makes a pitcher work. He obviously is a health risk since he has been bothered the past three seasons with injuries, which should scare teams away from any long term commitment this offseason. With this in mind, he will probably get a one year – maybe two year – deal from a team this offseason, which is a contract that fits into the Indians’ plans.

    It is no secret that Youkilis is a favorite of new manager Indians’ Terry Francona. Youkilis enjoyed the best years of his nine year career under Francona and has a lot of respect for the Indians’ new skipper. On top of that, the Indians came very close to acquiring him last June before the White Sox eventually acquired him from the Red Sox, so there obviously is strong interest in him from the Indians front office. With the Indians in need of a first baseman and also a hole at designated hitter, there is a fit and it makes a lot of sense to pick him up on a one or two year deal for around $6 to 8 million per season.

    A signing of Youkilis would not be the blockbuster type move a lot of fans are hoping for this season, but he would offer a suitable option to fill the glaring hole at first base. He also could play some third base if Lonnie Chisenhall struggles, and obviously could be the designated hitter from time to time to monitor his health and allow Carlos Santana to get some time at first base.

    His best days may be behind him, but I have always been a fan of the way Youkilis plays the game. He is an on-base machine that has a patient exhausting approach at plate. He is a guy that people love to hate, but if he is on your team you love him. Plus, I still think there is some production left in the tank and he could provide good value in the middle of the lineup. He’s not the big thumper we all long for to bring the middle of the lineup together, but the reality is those guys are probably not available this offseason. His experience hitting in the middle of the lineup could provide a much needed boost in the cleanup or fifth spot in the order compared to what the Indians have had there in recent years.

    No manager may know Youkilis better than Francona, and if he is looking for a place to land to help reestablish his value, I can’t think of a better place than with the Indians. Not only do the Indians have a need at the positions he plays, but they can offer him the opportunity to hit in the middle of their order to put up good numbers and most importantly reunite him with his beloved manager.

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  6. #214
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    I am hoping they go after Edwin Jackson, Youk, Bourn and Melky Cabrera, but I am guessing we'll end up with someone like Luke Scott and a trade for someone like Slowey.

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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Quote Originally Posted by Day Man View Post
    I am hoping they go after Edwin Jackson, Youk, Bourn and Melky Cabrera, but I am guessing we'll end up with someone like Luke Scott and a trade for someone like Slowey.
    You really believe signing all (or most) of those guys would be a good idea?
    Manziel's reps also insist it's a hoax -- and he's never made a penis video on "It's a Small World" or any other Disney ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by CavsFanLA View Post
    a skill that probably fits well in the world of PR where you want to listen tothe opinion of someone who thinks they know more than you

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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    More than likely you'd end up with Youk and one of Melky or Bourn, so no, I don't expect them to sign all of them. I just don't think you can go into next season without adding a starting pitcher (at this point I'd take someone like Kevin Milwood, today, not the 2005 signing) and an OF.

  9. #217
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    That article should definitely give Tribe fans hope for the upcoming 7-10 seasons. Let me show you why...


    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    They have been slow to make these changes in the past, but the bad taste left in the mouths of everyone after one of the worst seasons in the franchise’s history has a lot of people motivated to finally make these changes.
    Translated: The front office is incompetent...and needs external motivation to try not to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    With Francona in the organization the front office can listen to him and learn things, and they have.
    Translated: The front office needs to be taught how to draft properly by a coach that was fired by another organization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    With that in mind, their number one focus this offseason will be to add some meat to the starting rotation. They will not be able to find a top of the rotation starter in the free agent or trade market, but if they can add a couple of pitchers that can haul innings and be solid middle of the rotation starters, then a rotation with three or four dependable middle of the rotation starters is a whole heck of a lot better than a rotation with almost all back of the rotation starters like they had in 2012.
    So here's some criteria to refer back to when the off-season is over on whether the front office is doing it's job well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    It takes a good seven to ten years after a particular draft to get a good read on how successful or unsuccessful it was
    So there's your timeline for how long it will take for the Indians to be successful, unless you trust that they can trade their existing talent for more minor league talent in another team's system. And then in that case...you can wait another 2-3 years to see how those players turn out...assuming that they're high minor league guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    In fairness, some of the players that could now be core pieces to the team were given up on in Cleveland or were traded away and have gone on to have more success elsewhere...In a strange way, almost all of their productive players from those drafts from 2001-2007 were either traded away or lost on waivers or in the Rule 5 Draft.
    Translated: The front office is about as incompetent as it can get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    The Indians have shown in the past that they are committed to their plan, even though it may have been flawed, be it the draft strategy from 2001-2007 or the philosophy with player acquisitions at the big league level for the past decade.
    Translated: Just in case the last quote didn't sink in... they really, really, really suck at what they do!!! BUT...they COMMIT to it.


    Can't you just picture Lastoria slapping his head going back and reminiscing over the Tribe's moves since 2001?
    Taking up to 10 $10 bets LeBron does not return to Cleveland on his next contract. If you think he is, bet me $10.

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  11. #218
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    GM meetings start today in Florida and Jon Heyman posted an article saying the Indians are "open-minded" and will listen to offers for Perez, Choo, Cabrera, and Perez during the meetings

  12. #219
    Rising Star Nom's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Quote Originally Posted by IO_OGIJ View Post
    That article should definitely give Tribe fans hope for the upcoming 7-10 seasons. Let me show you why...

    Translated: The front office needs to be taught how to draft properly by a coach that was fired by another organization.
    It's been covered 100 times on this board, but the draft was completely revamped in '08 and the returns have shown to be much better. Everyone knows their drafts sucked from '00 - '08 - Shapiro has said as much in 2 recent interviews. But fans are constantly saying, 'THEY NEED TO DRAFT BETTER!' no matter how many times you tell them they already have.

    Kipnis seems to be the #1 fan favorite lately - where did he come from?

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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nom View Post
    It's been covered 100 times on this board, but the draft was completely revamped in '08 and the returns have shown to be much better. Everyone knows their drafts sucked from '00 - '08 - Shapiro has said as much in 2 recent interviews. But fans are constantly saying, 'THEY NEED TO DRAFT BETTER!' no matter how many times you tell them they already have.

    Kipnis seems to be the #1 fan favorite lately - where did he come from?
    I agree with the whole "they're drafting better" thing, but how many people on the roster have been drafted by the Indians since they revamped their system? If we can only count 1 or 2, I can see why people still think we suck at drafting.
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  15. #221
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nom View Post
    It's been covered 100 times on this board, but the draft was completely revamped in '08 and the returns have shown to be much better. Everyone knows their drafts sucked from '00 - '08 - Shapiro has said as much in 2 recent interviews. But fans are constantly saying, 'THEY NEED TO DRAFT BETTER!' no matter how many times you tell them they already have.

    Kipnis seems to be the #1 fan favorite lately - where did he come from?
    Cleveland fans have been yearning for a scrappy white guy to root for since Brian Sipe left town.
    Manziel's reps also insist it's a hoax -- and he's never made a penis video on "It's a Small World" or any other Disney ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by CavsFanLA View Post
    a skill that probably fits well in the world of PR where you want to listen tothe opinion of someone who thinks they know more than you

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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowblind View Post
    I agree with the whole "they're drafting better" thing, but how many people on the roster have been drafted by the Indians since they revamped their system? If we can only count 1 or 2, I can see why people still think we suck at drafting.
    Not many drafts pay off for 4-5 years. If they do at all...

    I'm less confident in the new wave of drafting than I once was, but most of these young guys take years to make an impact. To say nothing of Latin American signings.
    Manziel's reps also insist it's a hoax -- and he's never made a penis video on "It's a Small World" or any other Disney ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by CavsFanLA View Post
    a skill that probably fits well in the world of PR where you want to listen tothe opinion of someone who thinks they know more than you

  17. #223
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    The new drafting has been okay. Kipnis is an example of the new drafting philosophy, right?

    So I would say I have a little more faith in the drafting strategy.

    Drew wasn't exactly the best example, 99% of the teams thought he was the right pick when the Indians took him. White...ehhh, he was supposed to be a closer and the Indians probably mishandled him by forcing him as a starter. Talent is still obviously there, though.

    Rising out of the ashes

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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Speaking of mishandled...watch those two guys in Colorado.

    Pomz talent is undeniable, he can carve people up stuff wise.
    Manziel's reps also insist it's a hoax -- and he's never made a penis video on "It's a Small World" or any other Disney ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by CavsFanLA View Post
    a skill that probably fits well in the world of PR where you want to listen tothe opinion of someone who thinks they know more than you

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  20. #225
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    Default Re: 2012-2013 Indians Offseason Thread (Francona hired)

    Quote Originally Posted by b00bie View Post
    Speaking of mishandled...watch those two guys in Colorado.

    Pomz talent is undeniable, he can carve people up stuff wise.
    Yeah, no one is going to say either team handled White and Pomeranz correctly.

    Rising out of the ashes

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