I thought front offices tone it down as the holidays approach. Here's the latest:
-The Indians are either real close or leading the pack in signing Jason Johnson to a one-year deal, supposedly worth $4M. Now the money I don't have a big problem with, but I don't like the pitcher all that much. His biggest asset is his durability, but I think the Indians would be better off going with one of the kids for that fifth starter spot in the rotation.
-The Indians may be close to landing Atlanta outfielder Ryan Langerhans. This would supposedly be a precursor to a Coco Crisp to Boston deal.
Here's what these two moves (three if you consider the possible Crisp deal) means:
- The Indians aren't going to receive a pitcher from Boston if they sign Johnson. I didn't really like the idea of Arroyo or Clement anyway, but the Johnson signing should remove any doubt of that happening.
- The acquisition of Langerhans paves the way for Crisp to be dealt to Boston. As I remarked in the diary, Langerhans is a pretty good defensive outfielder, capable of playing either left or right field well. If the Indians don't trade Crisp, then they'll have a very good defensive outfield, never mind the offensive production.
- Since the Indians probably won't want Arroyo or Clement, Andy Marte seems the only logical reason why they'd trade Crisp. Marte is one of the best prospects in baseball at this point in time; he's a good defensive third baseman, and really took off offensively in AAA last season. If they do acquire him, they might place him in left field until Aaron Boone leaves, then move him back to third base. But regardless of where he plays, he's a potential impact player. I'd have no problem dealing Crisp for him, especially if they do acquire Langerhans to shore up the outfield.