Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Buyers, sellers?
Those are the questions that Indians GM Chris Antonetti is facing as the Indians and the rest of Major League Baseball nears the trade deadline on Tuesday at 4pm EST.
Thursday Antonetti spoke to the media just to give a primer on where the team is at, as well as to address if the team is even interested in doing something that may or may not put them in a position to truly contend in 2012.
When asked if there’s a shot the team won’t make a move at all, Antonetti responded with a simple answer – “it’s possible.”
“It’s difficult to get all the ingredients of a trade to align,” Antonetti said. “There’s a possibility that (not making a move) happens over the next five days, but I wouldn’t say that’s a certainty.”
Indians fans have been calling for the team to do something, even if it is just to make up their minds on if they are going to try and contend or not in 2012.
The club has split the first two games with the Tigers to keep them four games back in the AL Central. Antonetti said he didn’t have a specific number in mind of when a time to “go for it” or “give up” for 2012 may happen.
As far as the fans go, the GM did say that it’s something that the club keeps in mind when looking make that all important decision to play for now – or later.
“That’s always a consideration, we’re always mindful of that,” Antonetti said. “I think what we need to do, becuase what we want is the same thing the fans want and that’s to win a World Series, is figure out and make decisions based on that objective.”
If the Indians do make a move, the big question will be what type of move will it be. The club is in a serious offensive funk, not scoring more than three runs in any game over their past seven.
Then there’s the pitching staff, which has been a major issue with the starting rotation all at one point or another recently having issues.
Derek Lowe has gone from 6-1 to 8-9, Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez have been terribly inconsistent, Josh Tomlin has been the same and hurt, and it seems the only positive right now is Thursday’s starter – Zach McAllister.
So how does this team get better? From Antonetti’s point of view, it starts with the current set of players in the locker room, though he says the team can get better on both sides of the ball.
“I think there are a number of ways potentially improve our situation,” Antonetti said. “We will be flexible as to how we go about it.
“With the exception of the back end of the bullpen, I don’t think there’s been an area that has continued to excel consistently throughout the course of the season.”
With the trade deadline creeping up on Antonetti and the team, he knows that a decision has to be made on what route will be taken to try and contend or not for 2012.