Tribe preparing for pitching losses. Paul Hoynes, PD
The big news here is that Indians reportedly made Tom Gordon an offer, and that they'd make him their closer if he signs. Gordon will be 38 next season, so the Indians probably wouldn't have to give him three years to sign him. The same concerns about Howry's workload applies to Gordon; Tom made 159 appearances in the past two seasons.
If the Indians sign Gordon, it probably signals that neither Howry nor Wickman are coming back. Howry's probably been out of the picture for a while, but this signing would probably push Wickman out as well. With Sauerbeck coming back, I don't know if the Indians are necessarily going to to sign two free agent relievers, especially with issues in the rotation and in right field/first base.
Boras: Time for Tribe to pay up. Paul Hoynes, PD.
Where to begin with this material?
"Cleveland's management and organization has performed at a high level in the draft and trades," Boras said. "They've developed a core of players. Kevin Millwood helped advance that pitching core this year.
"Now they have a chance to win. Ownership has a unique opportunity. All the money it spends will be returned at the gate. It could increase attendance by 15 to 20 percent by being competitive all year. Kevin will help the team and he'll help the pitching staff."
It's kind of fun trying to decipher agentspeak this time of year, so let me try to translate:
"Noboby's biting on the five year demands, so I need the Indians to drive up the demand by offering Kevin four years. Kevin also really wants to stay, so I need to justify my cut by making the Indians pay him market value."
"This just isn't about an agent talking about money," Boras said. "Most fans don't know it, but the average payroll for a big-league team is $76 million. If the Cleveland Indians go to $70 million, they're not even in the top 15."
Again, if Boras had all kinds of teams banging down his door to pay his client $60M over five years, why would he be saying this kind of stuff? And as for the $70M/top 15 talking point, well...duh. Cleveland isn't exactly a large market, and the team payroll maxed out around $70-80M during the late 1990s. And yes, the fans already know about the payroll situation, so this is no new revelation.
An agent's job is to get the most for his client, and Boras has been one of the best agents in baseball for doing that in recent years. But he's failed to get that huge deal for Kevin Millwood in recent years, so he's really going to be pressed this offseason to finally get it done. In a thin pitching market, I've no doubt that Millwood should get 4 years without the Indians' "help". So this could also be Boras trying to drain every last cent out of the Indians because Millwood wants to stay.