Signed LHP Billy Traber and RHP Jason Bere to minor-league contracts; Invited them to Spring Training
Re-signed General Manager Mark Shapiro to a two-year extension through 2007
Hear that sound? That silence you hear is the various talking heads in the local media finding another hot-button issue to pursue. For the last, oh, two months, local TV and newspaper media has been hammering the fact that Shapiro's contract ended after the 2005 season, and that he was headed to Washington. Thankfully now this issue can be put to rest. I guess Roger Brown can start running columns on how fat Ronnie Belliard is getting while playing winter ball.
Jason Bere is a running joke now. I mean, if you've been following this team for the past three years, how could you not burst out laughing after hearing that the Indians were bring Bere back for his latest comeback attempt? I commend Jason for his determination to stick it out, but enough is enough. I probably said exactly the same thing last year at this time, so maybe in 2006, I'll just do a copy-paste when Bere inks another minor-league deal.
There has to be more to Traber's injury than meets the eye. The Indians were very cryptic when talking about Traber even after they lost him on waivers. This leads me to believe that his elbow isn't getting any better, something Boston probably determined after they claimed him last month. Given that Traber was nowhere near arbitration-eligible and the Red Sox had plenty of roster spots to burn, I'm guessing that Traber is nearing lost-cause status. Hopefully I'm wrong with this assumption, but that's what it looks like from a distance.
Josh Phelps has apparently signed with Tampa Bay, pending a physical. Tampa is a good choice for Josh; he may be their full-time DH, even against right-handers, and may resurrect his career there.