Found February 07, 2013 on Fox Sports Arizona:
As hard as it might be for sentimental Cleveland Indians fans to move on from the era of Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner, there are two things that seem to be getting the fan base fired up for the next generation: The pair of World Series rings owned by new manager Terry Francona. The once-beloved Red Sox manager returns to the dugout with the Indians one season removed from his tumultuous exit from Boston. He brings with him a strong track record of success, including the two championships and five playoff appearances in eight seasons with the Red Sox. Francona, who replaced Manny Acta in Cleveland, has garnered a reputation in recent years as the definitive players' manager -- that is, a manager players respect and enjoy playing for due to a somewhat hands off approach and loyalty to his players. The Red Sox decided not to pick up Francona's contract option following the 2011 season due to the team's late-season meltdown and a perception of too much freedom in the clubhouse. The decision to let Francona go was viewed by many as the Red Sox casting off one of baseball's great managers. If that's the case, the Red Sox's loss is the Indians' gain. And if Red Sox players' reactions to Francona's departure are any indication, Indians players will enjoy their next skipper. Some of those players will be just as new to Cleveland as Francona. The Indians made a slew of offseason moves, including a couple blockbusters to reshape the lineup. Former Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher highlights the group of fresh faces, having signed a four-year deal with the club. Swisher brings power -- he tallied 93 RBI and 24 home runs in 2012 -- and personality to the Indians' lineup as well as key veteran leadership to what is still a young core. He won't be the only new outfielder in camp this spring, as Drew Stubbs takes over center field after coming over from Cincinnati in a deal for Shin-Soo Choo. Stubbs provides solid defensive piece with good speed on the base paths and power potential, but he was plagued by strikeouts and prolonged slumps in Cincinnati, batting .213 last year while striking out 166 times. Strikeouts are another calling card of the Indians' new first baseman, former Diamondbacks slugger Mark Reynolds. Reynolds concluded his two-year stay in Baltimore with the lowest RBI (69) and home run (23) totals since his rookie season, 2007. Reynolds also had his fewest at-bats since '07, and the Indians are hoping that with a regular gig, he can bring his numbers back up while adding some much-needed pop and right-handedness to the lineup. General manager Chris Antonetti also addressed his team's starting pitching depth by adding veteran Brett Myers in free agency and landing top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer from Arizona. Bauer only has four major league appearances, but he could end up in the rotation on Opening Day if he shows enough development and maturity -- something he seemed to lack in Arizona -- in camp. In the same trade, the Indians also picked up serviceable bullpen arms in Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw. With any roster shakeup always comes the question of whether the new mix will work. Given the Indians' 94 losses last season, it might be suggested they had little to lose. Improvement more than contending with the Tigers in the AL Central is the more realistic for the short term. That improvement could be measured by the progress of the team's young talents like outfielder Michael Brantley, second baseman Jason Kipnis and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. There is no question, however, that with Francona, Swisher, and Bauer on the scene, Goodyear Ballpark will be full of personality this spring. Whos new: P Matt Albers, trade (D-backs); IF Mike Aviles, trade (Blue Jays); P Trevor Bauer, trade (D-backs); 1B3BC Yan Gomes, trade (Blue Jays); P Bryan Shaw, trade (D-backs); OF Drew Stubbs, trade (Reds); P Brett Myers, 1B Mark Reynolds, OF Nick Swisher, free agents; P Matt Capps, OF Matt Carson, OF Ben Francisco, OF Jeremy Hermida, P Scott Kazmir, P Joe Martinez, OF Ryan Raburn, minor-league free agents. Whos gone: OF1B Lars Anderson (White Sox), OF Shin-Soo Choo (Reds), OF Aaron Cunningham (Rangers), 3B Jason Donald (Reds), OF Shelley Duncan (Rays), SP Jeanmar Gomez (Pirates), DH Travis Hafner (Yankees), 3B Jack Hanahan (Reds), P Roberto Hernandez (Rays), OF Brent Lillibridge (Cubs), P Esmil Rogers (Blue Jays), P Tony Sipp (D-backs), P Dan Wheeler (Royals); 1B Casey Kotchman, P Rafael Perez, OF Grady Sizemore, free agents. Battle grounds: Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez own the only two guaranteed starting rotation spot, and veteran Brett Myers appears penciled in behind them, so the two final spots will be up for grabs among young hurlers Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Zach McAllister, Corey Kluber, David Huff and retread Scott Kazmir. Carrasco is coming back from elbow surgery. Kluber had offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, so he might be behind in the competition. ... There's no clear favorite at designated hitter. Rookie Chris McGuiness will get an audition, and utility whiz Mike Aviles is another option. ... Non-roster signees Ryan Rayburn, Ben Francisco and Jeremy Hermida will try to earn a spot on the bench, and the bullpen roles beyond Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano need to be determined. Health watch: Carlos Carrasco is expected back for spring training after Tommy John surgery in Sept. 2011. He should be a favorite for one of two vacant rotation spots but could be on an innings limit in 2013. Starting pitcher Corey Kluber had offseason knee surgery and should be ready for at least part of spring training. Reliever Blake Wood had Tommy John surgery last May and is expected back by midseason at the earliest. Sneak preview: Indians camp might be light on prospects this season after a number of free-agent signings, but first baseman Chris McGuiness is one to keep an eye on. The Indians snagged the 24-year-old lefty in December's Rule 5 Draft, less than a month after he was named MVP of the Arizona Fall League. He led the AFL with 27 RBI in 25 games after hitting 23 home runs and tallying 77 RBI in Double-A last season. He's got an outside shot at landing a big league job as a DH. Spring training info: Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, Goodyear. First workouts Feb. 12 (pitchers and catchers), Feb. 15 (full squad). First game: Feb. 22. Tickets:

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #37 RHP Jake Sisco

The IBI's 2013 Indians Top 60 Prospect countdown continues on with right-handed pitcher Jake Sisco. Sisco came out of nowhere in 2011 as he shot up draft boards and looked like a steal for the Indians in the third round of the draft, but his lackluster showing last season leaves many questions about him that need answered. Did he just have a bad year and his 2011 campaign is...

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #38 LHP Shawn Morimando

The IBI's 2013 Indians Top 60 Prospect countdown continues on with left-handed pitcher Shawn Morimando. Morimando is one of the more promising young pitchers in the Indians’ system because he is so young, raw, and inexperienced, but shows a lot of ability already and more is expected to come with his command and stuff. Tony breaks down what he brings to the table as an athletic...

2013 Key Players: Justin Masterson

In the weeks leading up to Opening Day the IBI will be doing all sorts of previews and breakdowns of the Indians from the big leagues down to the minors. One the features will be an in-depth look at several Indians whose performance is critical to the team’s success in 2013. Michael Goodman kicks things off with the man who may be the most important of all, Justin Masterson.

Indians rumors: Cleveland will trade Asdrubal Cabrera

The Cleveland Indians will trade shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera by next winter, sources told Jordan Bastian of Spoke with a few sources from other teams who think Asdrubal will be traded by next winter. Aviles' 2+ deal w/ option increases that sense. — Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 7, 2013 Cabrera has been on the trade block throughout the offseason...

Indians announce broadcast schedule for 2013

The Cleveland Indians have announced the broadcast times for all of their spring training and regular season games, and the broadcast schedule for all of their games on radio and TV as well. Six spring training games will air in March and a total of 161 games will air on SportsTime Ohio and nationally on Fox this season.

Aviles, Indians agree to multi-year deal, Hill signed

On Thursday the Cleveland Indians announced that they have signed infielder Mike Aviles to a two-year $6 million contract that includes a club option for the 2015 season. His signing brings all arbitration eligible players under contract for the 2013 season, and keeps the Indians streak intact of not going to arbitration since 1991 (Swindell, Browne). They also announced the signing...

John Varvatos ‘Style & Content’ Features Cleveland Indians Nick Swisher

Menswear brand John Varvatos has totally redesign their website, with the addition of a editorial component called ‘Style & Content’ Which is a  monthly segment focusing on Male luminaries whose creativity and work ethic  symbolizes the John Varvatos Brand. Among the six men featured is Baseball star Nick Swisher(Cleveland Indians), who enrobed in clothing by John Varvatos...

Indians sign INF Mike Aviles to 2-year contract

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Indians have signed infielder Mike Aviles to a two-year contract with a club option for the 2015 season. Financial terms were not immediately available. Aviles, who was acquired in a trade from Toronto in November, gives the Indians depth at second base and shortstop. He spent last season as Boston's primary shortstop, batting .250 with 13 homers and 60...

Wendle excited for what's in store this season

One’s first season playing pro ball is full of adjustments, lessons and personal tests. Cleveland Indians infielder Joe Wendle understands the importance of learning everywhere, from between the foul lines to off the field. The IBI's Stephanie Metzger recently caught up with him to get caught up with how his offseason is going and what he is looking forward to this season.


Menswear designer, John Varvatos, recently re-launched the company’s e-commerce and brand website. The revamped site now includes an editorial component called “Style & Substance.” The monthly section will profile men “whose creativity and dedication to their work follows in the spirit of John Varvatos’ own approach to his craft.” Among the gents featured in the inaugural...

The 2013 Hermosillo Report - Wrap-Up Edition

The winter ball season officially ended for all Indians players last night as Mexico outlasted Republica Dominana in 18 innings for a hard fought 4-3 win, and the title of baseball champions of the Caribbean. Join Arthur Kinney as he recaps the game, wraps up the performance of some Indians' players in the Caribbean Series, and more.

What's new in 2013: The bullpen

Well now we get to the fun stuff. That’s right, today we will discuss the “The Bullpen Mafia” as Clevelanders have so affectionately branded the Indians relief corps. Outside of maybe Brian Wilson and Sergio Romo in San Francisco, the Tribe probably has the most unique, fun-loving bunch of characters to ever occupy a major league bullpen. The IBI's Jake Dungan continues...

IBI Digest: 2/3/13-2/9/13

The IBI Digest catches you up on anything you might have missed over the past week at Indians Baseball Insider and also notes some of the more popular columns posted at the major news sites and blogs.
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