Indians Leave 2012 Winter Meetings Hopeful To Build On Talks
NASHVILLE (92.3 The Fan) – Indians GM Chris Antonetti and his crew are leaving Nashville without making a deal or inking a player – but it’s not for a lack of effort.
“Most days we were meeting throughout the course of the day, whether it was with teams or an agent,” Antonetti said. “Then we had time to reconnect as a group and strategize…we were pretty busy.”
The only move the Indians made that netted players came on Thursday, as the team picked up 1B Chris McGuiness in the Rule 5 Draft. The club lost pitchers Hector Rondon and T.J. McFarland.
It seemed that beyond that, just about every rumor involving a player or a deal somehow connected the Indians.
There was talk of a mega-deal involving a number of teams that included the Indians trading shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. While the deal never went down, Antonetti did say talks that started in Nashville will continue.
“I think I’ll go home and see my daughters and give them big hugs, but no, it doesn’t stop,” Antonetti said. “Hopefully we will build on some things that we did here and get some things pushed across the finish line.”
The team reportedly made a big offer to free agent outfielder Shane Victorino, but he turned down the Indians to instead go to Boston for three years at $38.5 million.
Reports had the Indians making an offer of four years for $44 million, but it wasn’t enough to entice the 32-year-old.
A couple other free agent names that the Indians were linked to included OF Jason Bay, 3B/1B Kevin Youklis, right-handed pitcher Mike Pelfrey, and OF Nick Swisher.
Antonetti said that 60 to 70 percent of the time the Indians brass were talking trades with other teams, while the other 30 to 40 percent was talking with reps for free agents.
Some feel that the last four days was a waste for the Indians since no moves were made, but Antonetti says he can’t worry about the public perception of what was or was not done at the meetings.
“We don’t spend a lot of time putting weight in what outside pressures might be,” Antonetti said.
“Our sole focus is ‘what do we need to do to improve and how do we do it,’ regardless of time frame, and regardless of outside pressures, those are not things we ever consider.
“There was never one point where we were sitting around our room saying ‘we have to do something before we leave here’.”
For now, new manager Terry Francona will head with new pitching coach Mickey Calloway to the Dominican to watch and meet with pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
Antonetti along with assistant GM Mike Chernoff and others will head back to Cleveland and continue those talks with teams and possible free agents to as he put it, to try and make the team better.
When that eventually will be continues to be anyone’s guess.