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Indians News & Notes 1/17/14: Plushdamentals, Bouncebacks, and Replay

The Tribe welcomes Tony Plush and hopes for a return to form from Asdrubal Cabrera. Elsewhere, arbitration season is in full effect and instant replay is on the horizon.

Can Asdrubal bounce back after his mediocre 2013 and soul-crushing performance in the Wild Card Game?
Can Asdrubal bounce back after his mediocre 2013 and soul-crushing performance in the Wild Card Game?
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Let's get to the news and notes:

Indians news

"Plushdamentals" officially coming to Cleveland | (Jason Beck) - The Indians have made the signing of Nyjer Morgan official. Tony Plush tweets about his excitement. Esteemed commenter ISAYSO adds "BOZO the clown is thinking about a comeback. He would fit in good with the stiffs that SHAPONETTI has been signing."

Bounceback possible for Cabrera in 2014 | Indians Baseball Insider (John Grimm) - Grimm argues that Asdrubal Cabrera's history and low 2013 BABIP could indiacte a return to form in 2014.

Indians greats returning for Tribe Fest | (Jason Beck) - Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, and Charles Nagy will join current Tribe players and manager Terry Francona at next weekend's fan celebration.

Arbitration numbers to be exchanged today | (Dennis Manoloff) - Six Tribe players are arbitration eligible, including Justin Masterson, who the Indians are hoping to lock up for a longer team contract. The Indians have not gone to arbitration since 1991. when Greg Swindell won and Jerry Browne lost.

LGFT Mark Reynolds signs minor league deal with Brewers | Twitter (Ken Rosenthal) - Heres to April 2013, Mary.

Around the league

Replay approved by owners, players association, and umps | NBC Sports (Craig Calcaterra) - It's happening, folks. As expected, it will be triggered by manager challenges. Another interesting thing is that replays will finally be shown on the big screens at ballparks.

The rise of opt-out clauses | Fangraphs (Dave Cameron) - Fangraphs details an upward trend in opt-out clauses being being into elite player contracts, the latest of which belongs to Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers seem to hand these out like candy. Ubaldo Jimenez is a free agent now because of the opt-out claude the Rockies built into his current conract.

What do strikeout and walk rates mean for offensive production? | Fangraphs (Tony Blengino) - I just got done giving my girlfriend the "why batting average is an idiot stat" spiel, but I have to admit that this kind of analysis stretches the limits of my dedication to baseball stats. I suspect, though, that it'll be interesting to you lot. Nerds. (nb: kidding!)

Cubs ready to "blow away" competition in signing Tanaka | NBC Sports (D.J. Short) - "Many" owners are "convinced" the Cubs are going to signs the Japanese star.

Arbitration roundup | CBS Sports (Mike Axisa) - A handy roundup of all the players that avoided arbitration so far.

30 stadiums in 30 days | Sports on Earth (Will Leitch) - Awesome breakdown of the logistics and cost of the ultimate sports road trip.