While other teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays have moved quickly in an effort to improve their team for the upcoming MLB season, the Indians have done very little other than hiring a “big name” manager and signing a total of four players to Minor League contracts. Granted it is only the middle of November with plenty of time for moves, signings, and trades to be made, but the slow start leaves much to be desired with so much needing to be done.
The biggest deal of the offseason thus far in reality is nothing more than a minor move. On November 3, the Indians shipped Esmil Rogers to the Blue Jays in exchange for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes. Aviles at the very least will fill the utility infielder role for the Tribe next season while Gomes will likely make big contributions at Triple-A Columbus.
Other than that, Cleveland added Luis Hernandez, Matt Carson, and Cedric Hunter signing all to Minor League contracts.
Hernandez is a 28-year-old switch-hitting shortstop that spent the 2012 season with the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A team. He batted .262 with eight home runs and 70 RBIs in 129 games. Cleveland is already a shortstop-rich organization so it is difficult to determine if his role is to compete for a minor-league position within the organization or to eventually be used as a valuable trade piece down the line.
Carson is a 31-year-old outfielder who is nothing more than a career Minor Leaguer. He has appeared in a handful of Major League games since making his debut back in 2009, but has never “wowed” at that level. Clearly he was not on-boarded to compete for the starting left field spot.
The 24-year-old Hunter shows a bit more promise having been named the top prospect in the San Diego Padres’ organization in 2007. He spent 2012 with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple-A team where he batted .268 with five home runs and 44 RBIs in 129 games.
Cleveland has made smart moves to improve the organization overall but nothing no major shake-ups have taken place. If the season were to start tomorrow I would have as much confidence in the team as I did when the season ended. That is not saying much. Perhaps just a bit more patience and some confidence that everything will be okay come April is all that is needed.
All statistics provided by MLB.com
Paul Rados is an avid Cleveland Indians fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados.