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Tribe Preparing Money Pitch. Paul Hoynes, PD

With an abysmal 2006 and some money to spend, the Indians might be taking more financial risks this off-season:

"You don't know what opportunities will be available," Dolan said. "But the opportunity to increase the payroll will be there. Mark will have a chance to improve the club."

Dolan said the increase in payroll is in direct response to the Tribe's poor showing this year.

"We are not in a developmental mode," Dolan said. "We're in a compete mode."

Paul Dolan also reiterated the obvious: Mark Shapiro isn't in danger of losing his job.  

The Indians should be bigger spenders this off-season, but I seriously doubt they'll be in the running for players like Barry Zito or Carlos Lee. I've advocated for some time that it's better for a mid-market team to take on a contract in a trade than to try to outbid the larger spender; most of the time you lose out and end up overpaying a middle-tier player.

Opportunities Fewer for Gutierrez. Anthony Castrovince, indians.com

Most of the article is about Gutierrez not getting much PT since his return to the team, but this quote about Travis Hafner from Joe Maddon caught my eye:

He's in a league that plays beyond this league," Maddon said. "If there was a hyper baseball league, he would be the DH. This guy is that good."