Tuesday, December 11, 2007

THE Countermove

Everyone in Cleveland is clamoring for the Indians to make a counter move. Well GM Mark Shapiro is could be pulling one off which would be the equivalent of the big Tigers trade. While the Tigers are trying to build themselves like the mid to late 90's Indians, Shapiro is working on putting together potentially the best rotation in the majors and protecting himself for the loss of C.C. Sabathia after the 2008 season.

MTAC sources told us, then Ken Rosenthal confirmed it,
The Indians are going hard after A's pitcher Dan Haren. Yes, the same Dan Haren who started the All Star game last year and was 15-9 with 3.07 ERA for a bad A's team. Haren makes just $2.2 million in 08, but the salaries bump up in '09 and '10 significantly. However, the Indians would have Haren under their control for three seasons. He's 27 and coming into the prime of his careers.

This would be costly though. According to Rosenthal: The Indians' advantage is that they can offer superior major-league ready pitching, including righty Adam Miller, who projects as either a top-of-the-rotation starter or closer, and lefty Aaron Laffey, a sinker-baller who could develop into another Mark Buehrle.

Haren, the starting pitcher for the American League in the 2007 All-Star Game, could form a potent trio with C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona in Cleveland — and protect the Indians against the loss of Sabathia as a free agent at the end of the season.

The holduup could be Miller's health. MTAC sources told us Miller isn't the picture of health, the Indians know it, and so does A's GM Billy Beane. But imagine a rotation with C.C., Haren, Fausto, Jake Westbrook, and Paul Byrd with Jeremy Sowers and Stiff Lee in reserve? That could be unbelievable. Pitching wins championships and with this rotation, the Indians can immediately go right at that potent Tigers lineup.

Last year the Indians somehow won 96 games with getting nothing from left field, little from first base, and an off year from Travis Hafner. Yes, they need another bat, but if you can get Haren to go with CC and Fausto, just enough hitting would be good enough to win a ton of games with this rotation and bullpen.

I'm all for it.

Starting Pitching Market Will get Hot - Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports

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