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Cleveland Indians Inside Pitch 2008-12-05


Cleveland Indians Inside Pitch 2008-12-05
The Indians went into the off-season hoping to address a handful of priorities, chief among them acquiring a closer, a middle infielder or third baseman, and a starting pitcher. As the winter meetings began the Indians hadn't yet plugged holes in any of those areas.

At the start of the off-season general manager Mark Shapiro said he was hopeful of finding as many of the missing pieces as possible. However, Shapiro acknowledged that having a perfect off-season, in which all the priorities are taken care of, was probably unrealistic.

Compounding the Indians' attempts to acquire talent was the country's economic woes. Under the ownership of Larry Dolan and his family, the Indians have always been a mid-market team whose payroll size was closely tied to ticket sales and attendance.

The uncertainty of the economy, not to mention the uncertainty of the free agent market, which has been slow to develop, have conspired to slow the Indians' attempts to address their off-season priorities.

It's possible there could be some movement at baseball's winter meetings. Shapiro typically likes to be proactive in his roster fixes, so the lack of activity by the Indians in the opening months of the off-season is uncharacteristic of the team, but also reflective of the caution with which most mid-market teams are moving this off-season.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 5, 2008

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