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Smoke Signals: Hot Stove Report 2: Masterson on the block?

Smoke Signals: Hot Stove Report 2: Masterson on the block?
December 9, 2013
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Welcome to our new live video-blog platform. Smoke Signals will be moving to Google Hangouts in the future, and we're testing it out live and in living color. You can view our mugs live right here by clicking play on the youtube box. You'll be about ten seconds behind the live feed, but you can post comments and questions below.

As we find out more about hangouts, we'll add more functions and features. Afterwards, you can view the videocast, or you can also listen to the podcast live right here as well, or just subscribe to the itunes account.

Here are some links, or just click play.

We are going live at 10:15.

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Today, we talk potential trades, David Cooper and Grant Balfour...and oh yeah...Justin Masterson is on the block.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below!!!

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at

User Comments

December 11, 2013 - 8:32 AM EST
Rich, the Indians can leave Cooper in the minors all year if they want. But if he is hitting well and they want to get him to Cleveland, they can get creative and get him on the roster (Swisher play more RF). This is a depth signing. If Santana, Swisher or Gomes get hurt, it opens up a spot at 1B or DH. If Giambi gets hurt or is ineffective, it opens up a spot on the bench for a LH role bat. If an outfielder gets hurt, it opens up the possibility Swisher could play more outfield and get Cooper into the lineup. If Cooper proves to be healthy and performs, it should not be too hard to get him to Cleveland if the Indians really want to.
December 11, 2013 - 8:20 AM EST
Thanks, Tony. What I was trying to say is that if Cooper can no longer play at the ML level, then it doesn't matter that they signed him.

OTOH, if he can make a full recovery and return to being a .300 hitter, then they'll have to find a spot for him, and he only plays 1st base. Between Swisher and Santana it seems like they have 1st base and DH covered. So if Cooper is raking in Columbus and both Santana and Swisher are healthy and productive, I'm wondering how they'll find a spot for him.

Maybe as trade bait? He's an everyday player when he's completely healthy. They can't just leave him in the minors.

Chances are, however, that his back injury was so severe that he'll never regain his former talent.
December 10, 2013 - 5:54 PM EST
Not in iTunes!
December 10, 2013 - 3:16 PM EST

God hates all Cleveland sports teams, it's in the Bible. He was not on the Tribe's side last year.
December 10, 2013 - 11:37 AM EST
Rich, check out my winter meetings recap for yesterday on Cooper. Basically, he's starting the year in AAA. He fits in as a depth option right now.
December 10, 2013 - 11:29 AM EST
The Indians did more with less last year than anybody. I could rattle off the names of 15 teams with better rosters and worse records. I believe it's because they had God on their side. I'm not going to go chapter and verse hellfire and brimstone on you here, let's just say you fight better when you're fightin' the good fight. Justin Masterson is the team spiritual leader. Unless you can find another Billy Graham type that throws 95 and can make the ball move 17" as it passes the hitter, you better keep him.
December 10, 2013 - 11:27 AM EST
Where is Cooper going to play? With the signing of Murphy right field is taken care of between him and Raburn, which means Swisher plays exclusively first base. With Gomes taking over as the every day catcher that puts Santana at 1B/DH along with Swisher.

So were does Cooper play, assuming he gets back to where he was physically? A three-man rotation with him, Santana, and Swisher at 1B/DH? Where does that leave Giambi?
December 10, 2013 - 7:24 AM EST
I think we can safely say the Tribe and Dbax have engaged in lengthy discussions in the past...The clubs know one another and could possibly be a match on a cpl of fronts. That seems pretty logical to me.
December 10, 2013 - 12:40 AM EST
What do the DBacks have though that you'd even want? They're shopping Gregorius, maybe another one of their young pitchers. I wouldn't trade Masterson for a pitching prospect. I'd trade Masterson for a controllable major league or major-league-ready outfielder. Something that would enable them to trade Bourn. After unloading Bourn and Masterson, I'd then get in a time machine and sign Kazmir to a 2-year deal and jump back to the present and offer Ubaldo a 3-year deal. Would've been my dream off-season. I'm not a big Ubaldo fan, but I am also scared of Masterson beyond a year or two max, so if you can exchange Masterson for something valuable and sign Ubaldo for likely less than it would cost to extend Masterson, I'd do that.
December 9, 2013 - 11:39 PM EST
Willie is correct.

The most recent reports say the D'backs would like to acquire both power bat and FOR SP. However, they only want to use FA for one of them, and are looking the trade route for the other.

I don't know if I would bet it was the D'backs who approached us about Masterson, but Hiram's speculation is pretty logical. If he is available, I'm sure a lot of teams have come knockin, and the D'backs do make sense, along with the Braves, Mariners, Pirates, Yankees, Orioles, maybe even the Rockies. Other than the D'backs though, I'm not sure any of those teams could make an acceptable offer. Mariners and Pirates could, but they are a long shot, and Braves maybe if you like Alex Wood enough.
December 9, 2013 - 11:26 PM EST
There are reports the Dbax would like to add a veteran arm to their rotation and a big time bat.
December 9, 2013 - 10:49 PM EST
You'd have to get a lot back for Masterson, and they'd have to be major league ready...
December 9, 2013 - 10:43 PM EST
The Diamondbacks have plenty of pitching, Hiram. They want bats like Kemp or Trumbo.
December 9, 2013 - 10:43 PM EST
I'd be disappointed if they had not looked into this. He could bring back enough. Choo did.
December 9, 2013 - 10:28 PM EST
I bet the Diamondbacks are a team that approached the Indians about masterson. If I did deal Masterson then they must resign Ubaldo
December 9, 2013 - 10:26 PM EST
what do you think of Indians going after Johann Santana??
December 9, 2013 - 10:25 PM EST
December 9, 2013 - 10:22 PM EST
taking calls??
December 9, 2013 - 10:21 PM EST
How huge of a haul would Antonetti need to pull the trigger on a hypothetical Masterson trade? What kind of haul should we aim to get if we were to trade Bourn?

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