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Indians News & Links 2/5/2014: Tracy McGrady to give baseball a spin

A potential commissioner, a big signing out of Atlanta (then another one), a big honor for a former Tribe manager, and pretty much every athlete on the planet wanting to play baseball...


Tribe links's Jordan Bastian answers emails from readers. This is my Indians beat writer Q&A of choice, because I tend to find Bastian's answers more insightful than most. This week he tackles Justin Masterson's contract status, and responds to questions about Danny Salazar, Bronson Arroyo, the bullpen, and more.

Also at, Bernie Pleskoff profiles Indians prospect Tony Wolters, who transitioned from shortstop to catcher in 2013, a position he hadn't played since his freshman year of high school. Pleskoff says "Further refinement is needed," but also has a lot of positive things to say about Wolters.

Also, also at, Anthony Castrovince gives his list of the ten best lineups in baseball, with the Indians coming in at #7. Most of the teams ahead of the Tribe are alos in the AL, but that's still a very lofty ranking.'s Paul Hoynes examines the oft-mentioned possibility of Indians President Mark Shapiro someday becoming MLB commissioner. Bud Selig has said he'll be retiring next January, but he's made similar pronouncements before, only to go back on them, so I'll believe he's finished as commissioner the day it actually happens, and not a moment sooner.

Around MLB

It was a big, big day for the Braves. This morning they avoided an arbitration hearing with Jason Heyward by instead agreeing to a 2-year extension for $13.5 million. The deal will cover both of the outfielder's remaining arbitration years, but does not change the timetable for him to become a free agent. Hours later, that deal was dwarfed by the extension Atlanta agreed to with Freddie Freeman, which is for a reported $135 million over 8 years, making it the largest contract in franchise history.

Former Tribe hitting coach and manager Charlie Manuel is being honored by the Phillies with a place on their Wall of Fame. Manuel, who won 220 games as the Tribe's skipper, is Philadelphia's all-time leader with 780 wins as manager, giving him an even 1,000 for his career.

Come back, Bo Jackson

Russell Wilson just led the Seattle Seahawks to victory in the Super Bowl, but he plans to attend spring training with the Rangers, who recently picked him up in MLB's Rule 5 draft. Don't get too excited though, as Wilson's agent has added that Wilson won't be actively participating.

Another All-Star from a different sport does plan to play baseball in Texas this year though, as former NBA star Tracy McGrady has agreed to play for the Sugar Land Skeeters. McGrady, 34, will be a pitcher, and can reportedly reach the low 90s.