The competition for the final four spots on the roster is over, and the winners are Todd Hollandsworth, Ramon Vazquez, Kelly Shoppach, and Danny Graves.
What does this mean? For starters, Brandon Phillips will be traded. And one other player currently on the 40-man roster will be traded or placed on waivers.
It's difficult for me to get worked over up Hollandsworth, because the Indians didn't have a better option for the fourth outfielder, unless you wanted to count Ben Francisco as major-league ready.
The Phillips-Vazquez battle is one I've gone over many times. It depends on your outlook. Vazquez is probably the more appropriate pick considering the position (utility infielder), but that intoxicating upside is too much for me to ignore. Phillips was a victim of his own play as well as Ronnie Belliard and Jhonny Peralta. The Indians will have to look for a second baseman this offseason, and will probably have to go outside the organization to get one. It is very ironic that on the day Grady Sizemore signed a $24M extension, the most touted player in the Bartolo Colon trade at the time is being ushered out the door.
The biggest issue I have, though, is with Danny Graves. Danny hasn't been a good pitcher since the Reds moved him to the rotation in 2003, and unless Luis Isaac is a miracle worker, doesn't have much left. The Indians have better alternatives in Andrew Brown and Jason Davis. And Graves is probably going to cost a marginal player just to get him on the roster. To me, the difference between Davis and Graves (if there is one) isn't worth Brian Slocum or whoever's coming off the roster..