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Edible14
(@edible14)
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I actually think Hedges is more likely to be non-tendered. He has the exact same amount of control as Roberto, and while their framing is comparable, Berto knows the staff better and is better at blocking. He is more expensive, but he's still not exactly costly. 


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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
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Topic starter  

I think Perez has trade value and is likely gone. He's older, has had some injuries, and more expensive. That said, clubs need catching, and he should net a pair of prospects. Maybe a potentially big-league ready piece and a younger player in return.


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Themaven
(@themaven)
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Hedges is going no where

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/09/padres-trade-rumors-clevinger-indians-nola-mariners-luis-campusano.html

The salient paragraph:

'Preller, in fact, was informed Sunday evening that his Padres were “out” of the Clevinger bidding, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (via Twitter). The Indians told the Padres that they were sitting on a better offer and likely to proceed in another direction. That call prompted the club to reconvene and alter its package, ultimately adding infield prospect Owen Miller and catcher Austin Hedges early Monday morning. Those pieces put San Diego’s offer over the top, it seems, as word of Clevinger’s trade to the Friars was out several hours before the 4pm ET deadline.'

Hedges made 3 million last year and will be lucky to get 3.5 in arb3,Leon can be resigned for 1 to 1.5 million,maybe less given the economic climate.So two catchers for the 5.5 million(-.5m buyout) that Perez would cost alone.This is how the Indians do business.

The defensively comparable(loosely) free agent catchers available for 2021 as of now are Zunino,Suzuki.Castro,Flowers.Leon,McCann,Ramos and Realmuto.(Four off these guys were regulars on playoff teams)No reason to trade assets for a guy who will likely cost quite a bit more than all but one of them at 5.5 million,when you can just sign him after he's cut loose.

In view of Antonetti's recent statement /interview concerning the Tribe's financial situation you better believe they will be throwing nickels like manhole covers.


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Edible14
(@edible14)
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Posted by: @willhoo99

I think Perez has trade value and is likely gone. He's older, has had some injuries, and more expensive. That said, clubs need catching, and he should net a pair of prospects. Maybe a potentially big-league ready piece and a younger player in return.

I agree that Perez is the better trade candidate. My point was that if either was going to be straight up let go, it would more likely be Hedges. I think trade is the more likely route either way. 


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CalBuckeyeRob
(@calbuckeyerob)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 18
 
Posted by: @themaven

Hedges is going no where

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/09/padres-trade-rumors-clevinger-indians-nola-mariners-luis-campusano.html

The salient paragraph:

'Preller, in fact, was informed Sunday evening that his Padres were “out” of the Clevinger bidding, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (via Twitter). The Indians told the Padres that they were sitting on a better offer and likely to proceed in another direction. That call prompted the club to reconvene and alter its package, ultimately adding infield prospect Owen Miller and catcher Austin Hedges early Monday morning. Those pieces put San Diego’s offer over the top, it seems, as word of Clevinger’s trade to the Friars was out several hours before the 4pm ET deadline.'

Hedges made 3 million last year and will be lucky to get 3.5 in arb3,Leon can be resigned for 1 to 1.5 million,maybe less given the economic climate.So two catchers for the 5.5 million(-.5m buyout) that Perez would cost alone.This is how the Indians do business.

The defensively comparable(loosely) free agent catchers available for 2021 as of now are Zunino,Suzuki.Castro,Flowers.Leon,McCann,Ramos and Realmuto.(Four off these guys were regulars on playoff teams)No reason to trade assets for a guy who will likely cost quite a bit more than all but one of them at 5.5 million,when you can just sign him after he's cut loose.

In view of Antonetti's recent statement /interview concerning the Tribe's financial situation you better believe they will be throwing nickels like manhole covers.

Agree. While I think their attraction to Hedges is inexplicable, it seems to be real. Or at a minimum, to not make the Clevinger trade look bad, they need to keep the major league parts they acquired.  So Quantrill and Hedges are sticking in 2021 for better or worse.


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Edible14
(@edible14)
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MLBTR made their yearly arbitration forecasts. This year, in part because of how weird this next year promises to be, they listed three potential projections on arbitration, giving an effective range instead of a flat projection. The Indians' cases are as follows:

  • Austin Hedges – $3.0MM / $3.1MM / $3.0MM
  • Adam Cimber – $800K / $1.0MM / $800K
  • Delino DeShields – $2.0MM / $2.4MM / $2.1MM
  • Francisco Lindor – $17.5MM / $21.5MM / $19.0MM
  • Phil Maton – $700K / $1.0MM / $700K
  • Tyler Naquin – $1.8MM / $2.4MM / $1.8MM
  • Nick Wittgren – $1.4MM / $2.2MM / $1.5MM

The only one there that looks like a possible non tender is Cimber, but my suspicion is they keep all of them and trade Lindor. That would make the total projections for these guys $27.2m to $33.6. Without Lindor, that range is $9.7m to $12.1m. 

Cots has their 2021 obligations at $23.1m (just for buyouts, Jose and Carrasco) before options are considered. If you assume as I do that they'll keep Hand and Roberto on while declining Santana, that adds roughly $14m.

So if Lindor is gone, and there's not salary coming back, you have 6 arb guys, 4 guys on contract (Jose, Carrasco, Hand, Perez), and 15 guys making minimum ($7.5m roughly). 

23.1 + 14 + 7.5 + 9.7 = $54.6m, or $57m if they go towards the high end of arbitration.

The Antonetti interview implied they'll be cutting back payroll. Realistically they can cut it back pretty far just by trading Lindor. But it is worth noting that they could likely achieve a similar cut by trading both Hand and Carrasco. Hand being an expiring contract and Carrasco being very close to 10&5 no trade rights. 

They're in a pretty good position to scale back salary however much they need. I don't think there's any sort of need to decline options on Hand or Roberto for savings. 

 


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Themaven
(@themaven)
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And so it begins:

 

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/10/indians-brad-hand-closer-waivers.html

 

Hand put on waivers to try and save the million dollar buyout cost.

So no trade offers at all.

 

Pretty much what I expected with more to come I'm sure.


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Themaven
(@themaven)
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Perez' option is the only one they picked up,a bit of a surprise.

I think it's likely there's a deal in place for Roberto or else one involving Lindor.


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Edible14
(@edible14)
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Posted by: @themaven

And so it begins:

 

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/10/indians-brad-hand-closer-waivers.html

 

Hand put on waivers to try and save the million dollar buyout cost.

So no trade offers at all.

 

Pretty much what I expected with more to come I'm sure.

I am a little blown away that nobody would take Hand, even on a waiver claim. His contract was more than reasonable and short, it certainly doesn't look good for free agents this winter. A few other things this could mean:

Carrasco is basically untradeable at his contract. He's a good pitcher but at $12m teams are simply not going to be willing to pay for him if they aren't willing to pay $10m for Hand. He will have 10&5 rights early next year, so he is essentially locked into being an Indian. 

Trading Lindor will actually prove somewhat difficult. It's insane to think, but finding teams that are willing to put $20m or so extra into their payroll next year will be difficult. The Mets might be able because they just changed owners, but aside from them I don't see it. 

There's likely going to be quite a deep bargain bin market. Unless players decide to simply not play if they don't get their desired contract, there will likely be good players out there at rates even the Indians can afford. 


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Themaven
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Posted by: @edible14
Posted by: @themaven

And so it begins:

 

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/10/indians-brad-hand-closer-waivers.html

 

Hand put on waivers to try and save the million dollar buyout cost.

So no trade offers at all.

 

Pretty much what I expected with more to come I'm sure.

I am a little blown away that nobody would take Hand, even on a waiver claim. His contract was more than reasonable and short, it certainly doesn't look good for free agents this winter. A few other things this could mean:

Carrasco is basically untradeable at his contract. He's a good pitcher but at $12m teams are simply not going to be willing to pay for him if they aren't willing to pay $10m for Hand. He will have 10&5 rights early next year, so he is essentially locked into being an Indian. 

Trading Lindor will actually prove somewhat difficult. It's insane to think, but finding teams that are willing to put $20m or so extra into their payroll next year will be difficult. The Mets might be able because they just changed owners, but aside from them I don't see it. 

There's likely going to be quite a deep bargain bin market. Unless players decide to simply not play if they don't get their desired contract, there will likely be good players out there at rates even the Indians can afford. 

The financial hit most MLB teams have taken this year has been under-estimated by a lot of people.

81 games of ticket and miscellaneous revenue(30 to 40% of total revenues for most teams) were lost,very few teams can survive another season like this without it affecting them for years into the future.They have to plan accordingly.The Indians had to borrow money this season.If they have to borrow money two seasons in a row then the payroll will be slashed until that debt is paid.This is true for the majority of MLB teams.

Without one of the large local cable contracts to fall back on,the majority of teams won't even be bargain shopping they'll be cutting payroll period.

I would fully expect the Indians to try and get below sixty million in payroll if they can,70 million being more realistic,given the market the way that it is.

You're dead on right with Carrasco,a cancer survivor at 12 million a year is not someone any team will trade for.Getting something worthwhile for Lindor will be tough with this diminished market,it's bad timing for the Indians that's for sure.

A lot of players will be playing next season(no guarantee as the second wave of Covid is showing us now),on two and three million dollar per season deals,including players you never would never have thought that being even remotely possible for,like maybe....... Brad Hand.

 


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The Prosecutor
(@pros)
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I'm wondering if the arbitration hearings will take into consideration the massive decline in revenue. For example, let's say Lindor gets $20 million under normal conditions. But these aren't normal conditions. Teams had to borrow money to meet expenses. Would the arbitrators take that into consideration? 

If they award Lindor $20 million and nobody will trade for him at that price the Indians may decide to release him before paying him $20 million out of the owner's pocket.

I hope I'm blowing this out of proportion.  


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Themaven
(@themaven)
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Posted by: @pros

I'm wondering if the arbitration hearings will take into consideration the massive decline in revenue. For example, let's say Lindor gets $20 million under normal conditions. But these aren't normal conditions. Teams had to borrow money to meet expenses. Would the arbitrators take that into consideration? 

If they award Lindor $20 million and nobody will trade for him at that price the Indians may decide to release him before paying him $20 million out of the owner's pocket.

I hope I'm blowing this out of proportion.  

I've been wondering the same thing.

I don't think you're blowing it out of proportion

The players agents will argue that the season was an anomaly so the arbitration award should be based on what normally would happen in the "vacuum" of arbitration hearings and what a player should receive for a full normal season.This is a strong argument.

The owners will ask for mitigation of salaries based on the massive losses and a shortened season,but arbitration has never taken ability to pay into consideration before so I don't believe it will now.Raises may be lower due to the lesser stats accrued but they will still be raises.

I would fully expect a raft of players being released instead of being offered the binding arbitration increases likely due them.Nothing has been negotiated to alter the process to change that opinion.

Lindor will play in Cleveland next season,unless he's dealt.The team would have to bite the bullet on that no matter what.If only to pick up the future draft choice,plus still field a competitive team.Also, if they just cut him loose the fan base would get even more alienated than it is.

A guy like Deshields could be gone though....................God willing.

This off season will look a lot like what Charlie Finley,the A's owner, wanted to do in the seventies when they were negotiating free agency for the first time and he wanted to just make every player a free agent.A few haves and a whole bunch of have nots.

 


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Edible14
(@edible14)
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So a few posts ago I did the math assuming Hand's contract was picked up, showing they's be below $60m just by trading Lindor. If Lindor isn't tradeable, they can likely get to a similar number without Hand (saved $9m) and by non-tendering DeShields and Naquin (Meisel has hinted at this), which would save a combined $3.8m-$4.8m. That means the low end of Cleveland's payroll going into next year is $60.4m (54.6 + (17.5 - 12.8) + 1 (2 players minimum salary in OF)) to $65.7m (57 + (21.5- 13.8) + 1)

So they're already down pretty far. Obviously cutting your two best outfielders from last year isn't ideal, but when those two still aren't great, it makes some sense. Making less sense by the day is committing something like a third of payroll to one player. Making less sense is also committing 1/7 of the payroll to two catchers who can't hit. 

This opens up a couple of possibilities:

1) They can probably take *some* salary back in a Lindor trade to facilitate good prospects coming back. This will likely be a big deal in increasing the amount of teams that can bid

2) With an expected wave of non-tenders and a likely very frigid free agent market, the Indians might actually be able to get free agents here for prices they can afford. I don't see them offering even $5m unless Lindor is traded, but even that amount could likely get you a Cesar Hernandez type given the market. That is, unless the players collectively decide they're not going to take discount contracts. (Which they should, but this is historically very difficult)

3) They could actually just keep Lindor and ride him until the next offseason/trade deadline. There is likely some established minimum threshold for a Lindor deal, and if they don't get it, then it's possible they keep him and then let him walk with a QO attached. Indeed, this seems to be what they're planning. Letting Mike Freeman walk was kind of a tell, because without him their options on the 40 for 2B, 3B and SS are exactly 3 players. They have a number of prospects who could step in, but we also know the Indians are loathe to have rookies break camp with the team, preferring to defer to service time considerations. They will either have to break with that tradition, they'll need 2 infielders back in a Lindor trade, or they will have to keep Lindor and pick someone up. 


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The Prosecutor
(@pros)
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FWIW, Hoynes said they won't pay Lindor even $10 million for half a season this year. They will trade him for the best offer. 

Also, you seem to be assuming the Indians are fine with a $60-$65 million payroll next year. I don't think we can assume that. 

Hoynes thinks they will trade both Lindor and Carrasco this off-season and I suspect he's correct. One thing the Indians seem to be consistent about over the years is not doing any deficet spending. They want to end each season in the black or at least even. Last year they had to borrow to pay the bills. They're going to want to make up those losses this year or if that's not possible, at least break even. 

I won't be surprised if the payroll is in the 40's.


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Themaven
(@themaven)
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Well there's reality and then there's Hoynes.

Carrasco is not a tradeable commodity,12 million for a cancer survivor who is still affected by the disease is not someone teams will pursue in this economic environment,a healthy Hand at 2 million less being passed over by every team in baseball reinforces that.Only the Mets will be coming into this season with  money to spend freely since their new owner hasn't lost any income to date.

The return on a Lindor trade has to be better than the year of competitiveness and the the draft pick they would receive if he plays the entire 2021 season in Cleveland.We can't forget that even as they sit right now the Indians are still a solid bet in the AL Central.

I think they'll strip the payroll as much as they can but a scorched earth policy to go into the 40 million range isn't evident.The Perez option being picked up is indicative of that.Plus, the TV contract is due to be negotiated and they want to keep those ratings numbers up.

50 million to 70 million is the range I expect the payroll to fall into,depending on Lindor getting traded.

If Lindor is dealt there is some player movement that could happen,if not there will be little to no moves made and we'll see the same cast of failures from this season playing.


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