With Cliff Lee back on track, will Cleveland hit trade market again?
The bigger question now is whether this will be 2008 all over again for the Indians, when they traded three veterans after a depressing start. It worked very well last year, as the Indians' trades of ace pitcher
Not so fast, says Indians GM
The left-handed Lee, who went 22-3 last year in an all-world Cy Young performance, is said not to be worrying about it. And his recent performances would support that. While he's 2-5, he has a 3.00 ERA and is looking like an ace lately with a 1.43 ERA in his last six starts. Speaking of a possible trade, Lee's agent
Shapiro certainly succeeded with his 2008 selloff (last year's incredible haul included slugger
"It's a something of a luxury that nobody has put themselves in position to run away with it," Shapiro said. "That allows us to be a lot more patient with our decision making."
But even in the AL Central, the Indians' bullpen will have to improve for them to compete, and Shapiro is well aware of that. "Horrific," was Shapiro's word to describe his own bullpen. As he pointed out, besides closer
Another consideration in deciding whether to trade Lee would be the Indians' chances to sign the 30-year-old long term, and the chance for that seems far less than great right now. "Not during the season," Shapiro said. "But a year-and-three-quarters with a player is a lot of time. We're hoping to keep him longer. But if not, that's still a lot of good baseball."
The Indians and Lee apparently understood there was no chance to do a long-term contract last winter, either. Neither side made a single monetary proposal, suggesting both understood that common ground was nowhere to be seen. Lee was coming off a Cy Young season, and that would have meant big bucks for the small-to-mid-market team. Shapiro cited the failing economy for deciding against making Lee an offer last winter. But Shapiro also understands the price tag -- which could be in the range of the $70-80 million received by
Shapiro, one of the smartest GMs in the game, also knows that Lee is a lot more valuable in trade this summer than he would be a year from now. That lesson was easily seen in the case of
Most importantly, Shapiro isn't afraid to change course, as he did last year. So the Lee situation is worth keeping an eye on.
The federal government is pressing ahead with the long-running case against
I would point out that they've jailed Bonds' trainer
Additionally, I inquired recently as to why the feds pursued Bonds but not
Sources indicate the feds are also pursuing a case against Clemens, too, and that's only fair. He didn't couch his claim with the word "knowingly," and unlike the defiant yet more quiet (and yes, more admirable) Bonds, Clemens' extensive public rantings have led to several relative innocents being dragged into the mess, including his own wife and
Some have suggested to me that lying to a grand jury could be considered more serious than lying before Congress. But neither is recommended.
I can understand to a degree why Clemens couldn't admit he took steroids on ESPN Radio's
Clemens on Thursday put out a statement explaining what he meant when he said he could never take steroids because of a "family history" that included his stepfather's heart attack. His statement suggested he wasn't taking about chromosomes but circumstances there, and that he was talking about going through the death of his stepfather and not wanting to take risks with his health.
A columnist or two sympathized with Clemens (one
I'm getting into Twitter, and one of the Twitter traditions (if Twitter can have tradition) is to suggest whom to follow on Friday, and so here are today's Follow Fridays:
I will be awarding a prize to my 2,500th follower, something of little or no value to me or anyone else, like an old press pass or All-Star pin.
• Mets decision-makers discussed a possible promotion for top outfield prospect
• Struggling Mets setup man
• Good call not having
• Nice to see Rockies owner
• It almost isn't fair. The Red Sox, which already has the best 'pen in the league, recently called up 100 mph thrower
• Scary stuff seeing Reds star
• Rays star
• Can we please stop asking
• Angels rookie right-hander
• Good to see
• Also nice to see good guy
• Five position players have gone to the mound this year.
• Rare draft note not involving phenom
• And another draft note: The D-backs have the most picks within the first 111 (eight), followed by the Angels (seven), Brewers (six) and Rockies, Blue Jays and White Sox (five each).
• And another. "It may be best year ever for players from New York," according to one scout. Here are the main ones fro the NYC area:
• Best of luck to longtime umpire
• After seeing the way Mavericks owner