A Seller's Market
The Indians didn't make any moves to bring in a veteren player, and judging by the trades made over the weekend, it's probably a good thing they didn't. Listening to Antonetti and Wedge before Saturday's game lead me to believe that some clubs *cough*Seattle*cough* were asking the moon and the stars for bit players. No thanks. On the other end, there were some rumblings that the Marlins were interested in Matt Lawton. Unfortunately, they were only willing to deal prospects. If they had been willing to part with Brad Penny, I'd deal Lawton. But trading Matt for prospects right now would be a bad move. Number one, there's no one in the minors to remotely replace his production (Alex Escobar is out for the year, and Ryan Ludwick is still in Buffalo getting to playing shape). Number two, it would probably turn off a lot of fans who had been getting interested in the team (Remember when Colon was traded?).
The bottom line is this; the Indians are on the periphery of contention. But is the chance of winning the division now worth giving up players that might help the 2005 or 2006 clubs? You'll probably get a different response from just about every Tribe fan out there, but in Shapiro's case, he's being consistent. When the Indians blew the team up in 2002, he talked about 2005 being the year the Indians would be "back", and that the team was being built so that a full-out rebuilding process wouldn't have to happen for a long time.
Of course it goes without saying that this year's team could still win the division; it's very possible. But would you give up Grady Sizemore for Mike Myers? Adam Miller for Victor Zambrano? Travis Hafner and Jake Westbrook for Guillemo Mota and Paul Lo Duca? Those were the equivalents off what the Indians would have given up had they made those deals. It was definitely a seller's market yesterday; the Indians, if they have the money they say they have, should make their moves in the offseason when it will be much more buyer-friendly.