Road Blocks Foils Thome's Return. Paul Hoynes, PD
Hoynes makes the case for not dealing for Thome:
Also mentioned in the article is that the Phillies wanted Coco Crisp, Chuck Lofgren, and another prospect. In other words, the equivalent of what the White Sox eventually gave up.
Getting beyond the financial aspects, acquiring Thome wouldn't have made sense from a baseball standpoint. They would have had to acquire at least one outfielder, and that's if they went with Casey Blake in right next year. And this is assuming that Thome would be healthy enough to play first base; if he could only DH, that means either he or Travis Hafner would be sitting on the bench.
If it wasn't obvious before, the Indians are probably going to sign a closer:
Howry last week signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Cubs. The only way the Indians would have offered Howry that kind of deal is if they wanted him to close. They weren't ready to do that.
"The closer market still hasn't evolved enough," Shapiro said.
I would guess that Tom Gordon is the next target to fill the closer's role, given the prior interest in him.
View from Pluto. Terry Pluto, ABJ
Pluto restates Hoynes' argument about Thome:
Moving onto the pitching issues:
How wacky is the free agent market when Scott Elarton giving the Indians a chance to bring him back is perceived as a good thing? Even if Kevin Millwood is gone, as alluded to by Pluto, I really wouldn't feel great about signing Elarton and letting a couple youngsters fight it out for the 5th spot in the rotation. There has to be better options out there.
New TV deal in works for Tribe. Sheldon Ocker, ABJ
Even when the Indians weren't drawing people to Jacobs Field, the ratings on Fox Sports Ohio were very high. So there's been quite a bit of interest to secure the rights to broadcast Indians baseball. And surprisingly enough, FSN is supposedly out of the running:
Both entities appear to be bidding on the entire package, about 155 games. If Channel 3 wins out, it probably will air only a handful of games, maybe one a week, and sell the rest to ONN and maybe even to FSN.
I've lived in Ohio my entire life, and I've never heard of ONN. Of course, I've been with DirecTV for the past five or so years, and apparently ONN is only on cable providers. Hopefully if ONN does win the bidding, I won't be stuck listening to the radio next spring while they negotiate with DirecTV and the other satellite providers.
I do like the fact that the Indians may go back to free TV, though.