Results tagged ‘ Buckeyes ’

Where were you…

gavel%203.jpg… the last time the Indians went to an arbitration hearing?

I was 8 years old, growing up in Chicago and rooting on the Bulls as they pushed their way to their first NBA title. Hey, um, sorry about “The Shot,” by the way.

(True story tangent: My mom bought me a shirt that said “Air Jordan” when I was a little kid. She seriously thought it was an airline. Had no idea there was some basketball superstar with my name. God Bless her.)

Moving on…

The last time the Indians went to an arbitration hearing was 1991. Second baseman Jerry Browne wanted $1.1 million and pitcher Greg Swindell wanted $2.025 million. The sides did not budge. Arbitration hearings were required. Browne lost. Swindell won.

I’m bringing this up because tomorrow (Jan. 5) is the first day players can officially file for arbitration. Cleveland has four players — Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, and the Pitchers Perez — who fall into that category. Players file between Wednesday and Jan. 15, salary figures are due to be exchanged on Jan. 18 and the hearings, if necessary, run from Feb. 1-21.

When I covered the Blue Jays last winter, GM Alex Anthopoulos had a policy of setting an internal deadline for negotiations. In short, if he did not avoid arbitration by settling on a contract prior to the exchange date, then he would go to a hearing with the player in question. Anthopoulos believed it was an effective tool for getting talks done fast, wasting no one’s time. Either agree to a deal or we’re done talking and it’ll be settled at a hearing.

I asked Indians GM Chris Antonetti if he might use a similar policy and he said it was not something the Tribe did — not as a blanket policy anyway. Antonetti said each contract would be considered on a case-to-base basis and if an internal deadline was required, they’d implement one. Behind-the-scenes tactics aside, expect the Indians to settle with all four of their eligible players.

I’d expect Choo to reach a deal somewhere between $3 million or $4 million in his first year of eligibility. I find it hard to believe that the Tribe will sign him to a long-term contract this winter. I could be wrong, but Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, did not seem too optimistic about the possibility of agreeing to an extension this winter when he addressed the issue at the Winter Meetings.

Chris Perez is eligible for the first time due to reaching Super 2 status and Cabrera is also a first-time arbitration candidate. Rafael Perez is in his second go-round after settling on a $795K contract for last season. The Indians already avoided arbitration with Jensen Lewis ($650K for 2011) and Joe Smith ($870K plus incentives for ’11).

And, in case you missed it, here’s the latest edition of the Indians Inbox on Indians.com. Keep sending those questions to IndiansInbox@gmail.com.

Last, Go Buckeyes! That actually was painful to type for me, but after the New Years Day showing by the Big 10, I’m willing to put our differences aside and root for THE Ohio State University. Just this once.

–JB 

 

Happy New Year!

814_snowdays_fireworks.jpgIt was a quiet New Years celebration at the MLBastian household this year.

After hopping around various relatives’ homes for fun-filled Christmas gatherings, the missus and I wanted to ring in the New Year away from any chaos. Of course, the decision to stay home was made easier by the fact that we have both been fighting off colds.

Must be all those Christmas cookies we ate.

For us, 2011 is shaping up to be a pretty good year already. After living in Toronto for the past five years, we found our way back to the Midwest, to a house and town that just feels like home. With a young son now, the time has come to start introducing family traditions and that made these holidays a lot of fun.

On New Years Eve, I had MLBastian Jr. — 16 months old now — head out on our front porch to bang on a pot with a wooden spoon. He loved it and banging on pots and pans will be our New Years tradition from here on out. It’s what my family did when I was a kid. Our neighbors here will have to forgive us for doing so at 8 pm. Hayden had to get to bed.

As for the wife and I, we watched movies and tuned in to watch the ball drop in New York at midnight. We then walked outside to listen to celebrations around our neighborhood. Sure enough, we could here fireworks, noise makers and plenty of people yelling. We also heard some ticked off dogs barking away.

My point is this, we’re thrilled to be here in the Cleveland area now and looking forward to what the future will bring for us here.

And for all of you who have sent me notes via Twitter asking what the heck happened with my Spartans against Alabama… that was brutal. But, more to the point, what an awful New Years Day for the Big 10! I’ll be pulling for Ohio State so the conference can salvage the abysmal showing so far.

You won’t find that I get too worked up over bowl games, though. I personally don’t see the point of bowl games unless your school is in the national title game. Bring on some playoffs and maybe I’ll be interested. I haven’t watched a bowl game in years. Now, when there’s a Big 10 title game? That’s something I’ll care about.

MSU won a share of the Big 10 title this year. That’s good enough for me.

But, I digress…

You’re here for Indians content, but there isn’t much going on as of this moment. Cleveland has spent all of $1.3 million this winter on one Major League contract, preferring to use Minor League deals to bring in some competition for Spring Training. It’s a very young roster with a lot of growing to do, so the time to spend big is not now.

If the Tribe makes any more moves before spring, it might be to add another infielder or to bring in a starting pitcher. Cleveland might decide to head into spring with the infield options it has — third base and second base being the biggest question marks. On the mound, the Indians continue to be linked to veteran Bartolo Colon as a low risk, affordable option.

What would you like to see done with the roster before Opening Day? 

–JB

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