Monday, July 31, 2006

Belliard Gone

This is the first trade of the season that actually bums me out and actually feels like a salary dump.

Belliard could still help this ball club next year a beyond. He is a free agent after the season and is due for a contract upgrade. But this feels like a contract dump.

I could kinda justify the other trades... Crisp? They had no 3B prospects and they had the chance to get Marte, plus they had decent outfielders for the short term. Jason Johnson? He sucked, end of story. Eduardo Perez? Perez wasn't going to be a long term part of this team, and they needed a middle infield prospect after the Brandon Phillips debacle (note: I'm not mad about the Phillips trade, no one thought he'd do this well. Hell, Cincy didn't play him for 10 days after they got him). Wickman? The team was out of it and he wasn't going to be around next year, sure I would've liked more, but at least he didn't just retire without the Indians getting anything for him. Broussard? Please; I've never been the biggest Broussard fan, he's 29, platooning at first base and we're still hoping he 'figures it out', it was time for a change.

But Belliard? They got Hector Luna in return, he's 26, but he can play 'multiple positions'. Hooray! I've grown tired of trying to defend this front office against charges of penny pinching. I know Belliard isn't great; he doesn't have the best range, he seems to tail off int he second half and he looks a lot like bootleg Manny Ramirez. But if you can't re-sign Ronnie Belliard, who can you re-sign?

If the Tribe wants people to show up at all next year, they need to go out and sign some pitchers. This team isn't awful, the bullpen is. Of course, a right handed power bat wouldn't be bad either (preferably 1B or a corner OF). The starters are pretty set (CC, Sowers, Lee, Westbrook and Byrd isn't a bad rotation) and the line up can score runs (not consistently, but still), the problem is the bullpen. If Shapiro goes out and spends money on some relievers, the team should turn around and compete with Detroit and Chicago (fuck, and the Twins).
If the team goes bargin hunting again, expect another year of low turnout and angry fans.

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