Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The genesis of any big deal with a number of teams takes a few days to work out, and Indians GM Chris Antonetti Wednesday says that the deal that finally wrapped up last night began last week in Nashville.
Plenty of things start at the Winter Meetings, but not many probably felt the Indians would be able to pull off the deal the did Tuesday night less than a week after the meetings ended.
The teams moving of popular outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds sent a message that it’s going to take something to get something, and the team was willing to pull the trigger on a deal that centered in their minds around young 21-year-old pitcher Trevor Bauer.
“Trevor is a guy that works exceptionally hard, and he is committed to being the best pitcher he can be,” Anotnetti said Wednesday at Progressive Field.
Bauer was fantastic in his time in the minors last season, going 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA in 22 starts with the Diamondbacks AA and AAA teams.
He comes to the Indians to try and fortify a pitching staff that wasn’t very good last season, allowing the second most runs in the American League.
As far as what’s next for the Indians, Antonetti said don’t rule out anything as of yet, and there’s more moves to come.
“There’s still work to do,” Antonetti said. “We feel (Tuesday) was another step forward for us in our offseason, but our preference is to still do more this offseason.”
One area that the team for sure still needs to improve on is starting pitching. The pickup of Bauer in the deal does not translate as much to 2013 as it does to maybe 2014 and for sure 2015.
For now the team still needs more from starters Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, and after that, there’s really three wide open spots in the rotation.
It may come back to Antonetti to see what’s on the market and what the team can go out and acquire.
“We would still like to improve our starting pitching alternatives,” Antoentti said. “We felt we accomplished a portion of that yesterday for our future, but we would still like to fortify our rotation if we can.”
Another area that needs to be addressed is that of a corner outfielder. Many expect the Indians to shift Michael Brantley to left or right, though Antonetti didn’t comment on that Wednesday.
The team will need another player to line up in left or right, whatever spot Brantley doens’t take. Last season the club tried to fill left with a number of guys, and all wound up not being able to fill the void.
“Our corner outifield spot, we’ll look for opportunities on both the trade and free agent markets,” Antoentti said. “We’ve already been exploring those alternatives, and we don’t have a DH, we could use that as well.”
There’s plenty to talk about with the Indians again, as not only did the team make the huge deal on Tuesday night, they also inked 1B Mark Reynolds late Sunday.
Antoentti stated that he expects Reynolds to take his physical in the next few days to make the deal official. The GM did admit a move on the 40-man roster right now will be tough to make.
No matter the case, the life of a GM in baseball never stops, but Antonetti knows more moves will have to be made if the Indians will compete in the AL Central in 2013.