Cleveland (WOIO) - The Indians won 92 games. Unfortunately, as far as the playoffs are concerned, they needed to win 93, but that doesn't diminish the incredible turnaround from a 90-loss team in 2012 to a 90-win team in 2013, and how the Tribe energized that ballpark again, if only briefly.
The question is, who's coming back? I asked Scott Kazmir, the lefty who resurrected his career with ten wins, and likely put himself back on a lot of teams' radars, if he'd like to come back, and he was adamant that he does want to, mentioning the guys in the room, and certainly feeling a lot of loyalty to the only team that took a shot on him this year.
What about Ubaldo? Yes, he was the best pitcher in the American League after the All-Star break, but with his mechanics, and the possibility that it could all get away from him again, would you be willing to dish out $75 mil over five years? Some team will. I'm thinking the Tribe will not. The one thing they have going for them in this negotiation is Mickey Callaway, the pitching coach, who bonded with Ubaldo and helped him save his career. We'll see which side wins out, money or loyalty.
Asdrubal Cabrera is under contract for another year, but if you believe the rumors, they've tried to move him the past two summers, and after this season, in which the former All-Star underperformed miserably, you can't be stunned if he's not back in 2014.
Chris Perez? Start the car.
The additions should include a big bat for the middle of the lineup, a closer (not easy to find), and possibly a shortstop. Lindor's not there yet.
It'll be a very interesting winter for the Indians, and their fans. Are they happy to have just been in the running again, or are they serious about taking steps to the next level? Remember, the run in 2007 didn't lead to success at the box office in 2008. The same will apply here. If the Indians don't add at least two significant players, and I'm talking big money, impact-type players, they'll be sending the wrong message to their fan base again. And the carry-over from this fantastic finish in 2013 will have meant nothing.
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