Cleveland Sports Insiders

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Indians’ projections at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario

Masterson (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Masterson (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

While rationalizations over the firing of Rob Chudzinsky and the Browns’ ensuing head-coach search engross us here at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario, a relatively quiet hot-stove league is finally set to give way to the sights and sounds of a new and fresh baseball season. In less than a month, 27 days to be exact, pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear, Arizona signaling the start of the 2014 baseball season.

For most readers of my column, the Browns escapades and the Cavaliers year-to-year folly are mere placeholders for the crack-of-the-bat, the pop of the glove and all of the optimism that comes with the start of every year. The Cleveland Indians won 92 games last season and tasted the playoffs for the first time since 2007. With the major pieces seemingly set, it’s time to start figuring out what is to be expected of the 2014 Indians.

Can this club match the blossoming expectations that are now in place, or is the bar set far too high thanks to an unexpected September run? Regardless of what you believe, the 2014 Indians are set to give the North Coast one thing that neither the Browns nor the Cavs can. Continue reading


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12 Days of Christmas at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario

Progressive FieldIt’s Christmas time here at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario, and what that means for the Pete household is a respite before loading up the Pete Family Truckster for a criss-crossing, 2000 mile trek up and down the East Coast, taking my family to both Florida and Pennsylvania over the next two weeks.

Trust me when I say that I’ll enjoy the respite of Christmas day with just my family, opening presents, watching 24 hours of a Christmas Story, and hopefully falling asleep at some point around 5:00 P.M.

Hopefully you’ll be doing the same.

With all of that said, it’s Wednesday, and the column must go on. I’ve decided to take a much more relaxed tone this week, and have delved into the land of theme.

With Christmas Day finally here, I’ve decided to go the route of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas for the 2014 Cleveland Indians.’ Oh, I could have rehashed the 2013 season (it certainly would have been easier), but thought it would be fun to take a look into Christmas’ future, rather than Christmas past.

Jeez, I just hope I, or the Indians, don’t bump into the Grim Reaper along the way.

Let’s give this a whirl…

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Indians sign former Brewers’ closer, John Axford

John Axford, during the glory days (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

John Axford, during the glory days (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Indians have reportedly signed former Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford, according to both ESPN’s Buster Olney and mlb.com’s Tribe reporter, Jordan Bastian.

It’s unknown just how much the reported deal is for, but Bastian speculates that it’s likely to be a one year contract, because the Indians would still have two more years of control on the arbitration eligible player.

It’s hard to speculate on just how much the Indians will pay him, but it’s likely not a stretch to say that they are likely to be in the neighborhood of Joe Smith and Edward Mujica money. Smith signed a three-year, $15.75 million deal, while Mujica signed a two-year, $9.5 million deal.

Obviously the Indians would like the idea of one year and control, and if they can bring him in at around $5 million, they would likely consider that a win based on the fact that their closer last year made over $2 million more than that, and was scheduled to be in the ballpark of $10 million this season. While that contract will no doubt take the Indians to the cusp of their money ceiling, they may be looking at him as a savings, especially with other closers likely to command anywhere from $7 million to $9 million.
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Indians reportedly make an offer to reliever John Axford

John Axford (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

John Axford (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

The Cleveland Indians have reportedly made an offer to former Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford, according to CBS Sports baseball insider, Jon Heyman.

Axford led the National League in saves in 2011, when he saved 46 games in 74 games and 73 2/3 innings, and came in with a 1.95 ERA.

Over a three-year stretch, from 2010 through 2012, Axford saved 105 ballgames for the Brewers before losing his role at the beginning of 2013 after struggling in 2012, and at the start of 2013.

Axford had been removed as Milwaukee’s closer in July of 2012, but was later reinstated, and saved 17 of his final 18 save opportunities that season.
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Is there a closer at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario?

Cody Allen (photo: AP)

Cody Allen (photo: AP)

I normally don’t find myself roaming the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario on Sunday morning, and truth be told, didn’t expect it as my morning began. What started as a short and succinct IBI power poll recapping last week’s question regarding the Indians’ closer, turned into a massive look at some other major league teams and their closer tendencies with regards to cost-effectiveness and success.

Now, I’m no sabre-metrics guy, and I never will be, so I tried to stay away from that in this piece, instead focusing on cost-effective strategies that certain clubs used over the years, including the Indians.

This was an off-the-cuff undertaking, and as you’ll see as you meander your way through my piece, I only scratched the surface of what this could have turned into.

Let’s face it, after a 12-hour college football endurance test yesterday, I didn’t expect to be sitting in front of my laptop this long today…but as Alabama found out, things don’t always end as you expect them.

Let’s take a look at the Indians quest for a closer…

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Cleveland Sports Insiders: The Podcast 57: The Closers and the bullpen

Michael and Jim return to the airwaves to talk about the Indians’ bullpen situation going forward. Who will be the Indians next closer in 2014? Is it someone currently on the team, or will they have to sign a free agent? If the Indians do sign a free agent, how much money might they be willing to spend?