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It's (Finally) Official

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Signed 1B Eduardo Perez to a one-year contract with a 2007 club option

The dollar amount hasn't been released, but it probably won't be for much. The option is there probably on the chance that Ben Broussard has a good season and the Indians want to stay with the status quo for 2007. Shapiro likes to stick options on the end of contracts, which paid off with Ronnie Belliard, but I don't think the Indians will keep Perez around if Ryan Garko does become the starting first baseman.

The Indians will have to make a roster move, as the 40-man roster was already at capacity before the signing. I'd count Jason Stanford and Brian Tallet the frontrunners for that honor.

Judging from recent comments from Shapiro, the Perez signing seems to signal the end of the major signings. Which means that Casey Blake will most likely be the starting right fielder, and, barring a trade of some kind, Todd Hollansworth will be the fourth outfielder.

Other than Perez, who is more a replacement of Jose Hernandez than an upgrade, the Indians haven't improved their offense at all. Yes, the offense is already quite good, with most of its leaders under the age of 30. But there were a couple well-defined areas that they could have improved, but didn't.

In Shapiro's defense, he did need to plug the holes in the pitching staff first, which he did by bringing in Paul Byrd and re-signing Bob Wickman after a brief dalliance with Trevor Hoffman. He didn't sign anyone to what I'd consider a bad contract, which will help down the road.

All in all, though, it was a dull, workmanlike offseason; nothing happend to get the casual fan excited, but nothing happened to get the diehard fan up in arms, either. Coco Crisp and David Riske are and probably will remain on the team, and Brandon Phillips is still on the roster, his future still undetermined. No one was lost in the Rule 5 Draft, and no one resembling a prospect has been lost via a trade or waivers (although one might with the Perez signing) so the Indians will return in 2006 looking a lot like they did at the end of 2005. Is that a good or a bad thing?

Update [2006-1-12 15:39:50 by Ryan]:: Brian Tallet has been designated for assignment.