Winter Meetings: Departing Dallas
Combined, Miami and Los Angeles spent a reported $518.5 million on five players in this week (Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell to the Marlins; Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson to the Halos). Some perspective: the Indians’ payrolls for the past nine years (2003-11) combined were roughly $513.1 million.
The Indians weren’t in on any of those marquee free agents, but their signings do effect the Tribe. With some of the big dogs off the board (Prince Fielder will be the next domino to fall), the market is being set for the players that are more realistic for Cleveland to pursue.
The Indians didn’t complete any deals at the Winter Meetings, but that was hardly unexpected. Cleveland continued talks with free agents and also exchanged trade proposals with a few teams. It is becoming clearer, though, that some salary would need to be moved if the team wanted to sign an impact free agent.
One name to continue to keep an eye on is free-agent outfielder Josh Willingham. His situation will likely hold until Michael Cuddyer makes a decision on where he’ll sign, but Willingham is definitely on Cleveland’s radar. It’s mild interest right now, but the Tribe continues to check in and could be a potential landing spot. The Indians have not made an offer to this point.
During Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, the Indians did not select or lose any players in the Major League portion. They did, however, lose two players in the Triple-A phase. Righty Marty Popham was picked up by the Twins and outfielder Donnie Webb was grabbed by the Marlins.
On that note, I’ve got to hit the road and head to the airport. Check Indians.com later today for more Winter Meetings coverage. And, yes, I did wake up to Smashmouth’s “All-Star” blasting again this morning. Unreal.