Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Missed Opportunities.

Everyone in the world believed that the Tribe was shopping for a reliever, but they didn't get one. I suspected that it wouldn't happen by the deadline when I found out that the Indians wouldn't trade Ben Francisco for Octavio Dotel. Dotel ended up going pretty cheaply to the Braves for Kyle Davies. In this case, the numbers don't lie. Davies is a bum. The Braves really gave up very little for a guy who's closed games. I guess I have some sour grapes about that one. A deal for Dotel was one that Shapiro and Jacobs should have liked: the Indians wouldn't have had to give up any real talent (Francisco ain't the guy he was the first week he was called up --- so don't bust my hump about that one) , Dotel is relatively cheap, and he would have improved the back end of the 'pen.

The Red Sox did even better. They got Eric Gagne, who's been lights out, for Kason Gabbard, David Murphy and Engel Beltre. While Gabbard has some value and Beltre could be a monster talent...in four or five years, the Red Sox successfully refused to give up any grade A talent like Jacoby Ellsbury, who's going to be a terrific lead-off hitter. Jon Daniels of Texas has to be catching hell that he didn't just get one good prospect rather than 2 pieces and one guy who's future is a long torturous way off. I never thought that the Indians would really be in the hunt for Gagne, but I'm not happy that Boston got him. The Sox are the team to beat this year, and will now trot out Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, Eric Gagne and Jon Papelbon for innings 7 through 9. As they like to say in The Hub, that's wicked mean. Worse than wicked mean, the Tribe can't match up with that bullpen, and it's not even close. That matters. In the post season, a bullpen takes on heightened importance. If the Tribe's lucky enough to get in, their first round opponent will be the BoSox.

Shapiro's almost assured to be working the phones to get a reliever, but it's going to be tougher. Anyone he gets will have to pass through waivers.

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