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Winter Meetings Update: Indians, D'Backs working on deal?

Winter Meetings Update: Indians, D'Backs working on deal?
December 4, 2012
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Here are some quick notes and news bits in regard to all the evening events that have taken place on day two of the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Things really heated up this evening, and all signs point toward the Indians making a big splash sooner rather than later.

— There are now a variety of reasons to believe that a deal could be imminent with the Arizona Diamondbacks. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Diamondbacks have constructed a four-team deal that would net them Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. While the deal is currently dormant, this seems to serve as evidence that the Indians could indeed move Cabrera if the right deal presents itself. Also, if further evidence was needed, just trust your eyes. Chris Antonetti and Terry Francona were both spotted in the Diamondbacks war room this afternoon during the MLB Network’s coverage of the Winter Meetings. I’m no psychic, but I’m guessing they weren’t in there to discuss the weather.

— The popular notion is that the Indians would receive young pitching from the Diamondbacks if a trade were made. This makes sense, especially considering that Arizona has two young, front-of-the-rotation type prospects in left-hander Tyler Skaggs and right-hander Trevor Bauer. However, perhaps the Cabrera talks center around another player entirely. According to Jon Morosi of Fox, the Indians are one of three teams with serious interest in outfielder Justin Upton. Upton is one year removed from an MVP-caliber season, and he certainly would provide an immediate upgrade in the outfield. It would likely take more than Cabrera to acquire him, but it’s still astonishing to think that the Indians are actually pursuing him. At this point, it seems very likely that Cabrera will be dealt and the Diamondbacks seem to be the leading candidate. However, there is now a lot of intrigue in regard to who the Indians would receive in return. Skaggs, Bauer and Upton all help fill big holes on the current Indians roster.

— In other news, Indians target Shane Victorino signed with the Boston Red Sox for three-years, $39 million. Without a doubt, the Red Sox overpaid to land Victorino. The interesting thing is that we had heard during the day that Victorino had a four-year deal on the table. Well, according to Ken Rosenthal, that four-year deal was coming from the Indians. Rosenthal reported that the Indians offered Victorino a four-year deal worth $44 million. All things considered, the Indians are probably better off that Victorino did not accept the deal. However, the four-year deal is indicative of two things: 1). The Indians have some flexibility and are not afraid to go the extra mile to land a free agent and 2). This offer seems to serve as evidence of the new approach that we have heard of since the hiring of Francona. Buckle up because things could get very interesting from here on out.  

Steve can be reached via email at

User Comments

December 5, 2012 - 8:23 AM EST
If we're talking about giving out $44 million contracts and trading ACab, Masterson, and Choo, we'd better come out of it with some damn good starting pitching.
December 4, 2012 - 11:53 PM EST
So realistically would take 4yrs/32-36 mill to get Ross to even consider Cleveland and Swisher 4-5 years at 14-16 million per. Ridiculous contracts for non all star type players and then tack on the "Our franchise and city pretty much sucks" premium for players to even consider.

Why do I even pay attention to this hopeless trainwreck?
December 4, 2012 - 9:45 PM EST
Tony, I completely agree the mkt has seemed to blow up this offseason bc of the new revenues for MLB clubs.

As for Cody Ross he has floated his contract demands out there 3 yrs / $25 M. I'd guess that number could be going up. I'd be a lot more comfortable if the Tribe did that than lock up Victorino over 4 yrs, that's for certain.

I'm curious what kind of contract demands Mark Reynolds has maybe the Tribe could land him for a deal less than what Russell Martin signed with the Pirates for 2 yrs / $17 M.

It seems like the Tribe is working hard to get something done with ACab, it would be hard to believe they leave without getting something done in the next few days.
December 4, 2012 - 9:27 PM EST
There was talk a week or so back that Ross wanted 3/24 and I thought that was nuts. Cripes, at this point, that might end up as a bargain. There are some really stupid deals being handed out right now, and it is because of the new TV money. This seems to happen once every 5-6 years. It ruins the market.
matt underwood
December 4, 2012 - 9:12 PM EST
i dont trust this FO to do anything right - I do trust them to do the wrong thing.
Cleveland fan in Cali
December 4, 2012 - 9:03 PM EST
Seth hit it right on head! We need only look at the Ubaldo trade as evidence of the flaws in decision-making that have plagued our front-office. Make a move just for the sake of making a move is even more ignorant than retreading the status quo... 4/44 for Victorino was far too much, though I like his skill set..

Homer: if that trade rumor has any legs, I hope they're broken! Kubel's not worth the price, and Archer & Cobb aren't front-of-the-rotation starters to me.. I hope the F.O. sticks to their supposed guns and keeps Cabrera for real pitching or impact hitting. I would love to see Upton in a Indian's uniform. There's no need to trade Masterson or Choo unless we're getting real proven prospects in return: no more LaPorta's or Knapps-- we need real guns!!
December 4, 2012 - 9:02 PM EST
The Tribe would move...
Choo to TB
ACab to AZ
Masterson to Atl
And would recieve Jason Kubel, Tyler Skaggs, Chris Archer and Alex Cobb
Based on the rumor I heard.


would love that deal, but can't see it happening.
December 4, 2012 - 8:52 PM EST
If they're willing to pay that much to Victorino, there is no reason they shouldn't sign Swisher. As long as the Dodgers don't want him, no one's going to give him anything crazy now that Boston's out of the picture.

Maybe the Cleveland was just messing with Cherington. If the Red Sox wanted to give Victorino $13 million a year to play a corner outfield spot, why not just sign, say, Josh Hamilton, for a comparatively little more. If I were a Red Sox fan, I would wonder about my GM. They didn't need a CF who gets most of his value through speed and defense, they needed a corner outfield guy. The Indians, with the fragile and less-than-stellar Brantley in CF, made more sense for Victorino.
December 4, 2012 - 8:47 PM EST
I know Cody Ross was looking for a Willingham type deal going into the off season. Do you think these parameters have changed with the Pagan/Upton/Victorino signings? I'd say 21 million over 3 years would be a bargain now. Any further $$ indications on Swisher lately? I also thought Upton had a no-trade to the Indians.
December 4, 2012 - 8:40 PM EST
The 4/44 the Indians offered Victorino is insane. I love to see them willing to spend the money, but that's just not the way to spend it. I now think Swisher and Ross are both in play.

I still don't see Upton as a fit for the Indians. They don't have the pieces to get him in a deal, and besides, their number one priority should be pitching in any deals involving assets.
December 4, 2012 - 8:32 PM EST
Justin Upton would be a game changer for the Indians. I watched him play in San Francisco which has the most difficult right field in the MLB. He is hands down the best right fielder I have seen- tracks down and catches balls that others would play off the carom. He's a 5 tool guy and he would probably flourish with a fresh start in Cleveland next to Brantley. Yeah Bauer or Skaggs and Kubel would be a plus but Upton would be dynamite.
December 4, 2012 - 8:17 PM EST
The Tribe would move...
Choo to TB
ACab to AZ
Masterson to Atl
And would recieve Jason Kubel, Tyler Skaggs, Chris Archer and Alex Cobb
Based on the rumor I heard.

Phil M.
December 4, 2012 - 7:55 PM EST
Can anyone in their right mind trust Shapiro/Antonetti to do anything sensible? The only hope is that Francona holds veto power.
Peace Up, A-Town Down
December 4, 2012 - 7:48 PM EST
Maybe it's just me, but it doesn't look like a deal is "imminent" considering the deal was described as "dormant", or currently going nowhere.
December 4, 2012 - 7:35 PM EST
I like Victorino, but 4/44 is crazy, and I'm glad he didn't take that (actually might have been smarter to take the Indians offer). Would much rather pay a little more for Swisher, or pay less for Cody Ross. I will not be surprised to see them whiff on those guys though. The vaunted "new approach" will only be a reality when they close the deal, and don't end up with Delmon Young, starting Indians left fielder. Otherwise, the fact that they make this offer just amplifies their dumbness from last year, when they were scared of giving $21 million to Willingham. They don't know a good deal when they see one, and maybe don't know a bad one either.

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