Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports has a "hot stove" look at the Cleveland Indians. I got a good chuckle out of this part:
The versatile Casey Blake also is a year from free agency, and nobody recognizes his value more than Shapiro. So expect a serious attempt to keep Blake in the fold as well. Maybe that's why the Indians announced Monday they have raised prime season ticket prices by 11 percent.Yeah - sure. Good luck to the Indians trying to justify a big ticket increase so that they can re-sign Casey Blake. To be fair - Henson had just got done saying that CC Sabathia will be a free agent after 2008 and I think he meant to justify the ticket price increase on the re-signing of both players. The way its written is ambiguous and I chose to chuckle at the idea of re-signing Casey Blake to a mega-contract causing the ducat inflation.
It's also amusing to see the love for Casey Blake when everyone was ready to give 3rd base to prospect Andy Marte before the season started.
The Indians two big needs are a starting corner outfielder and a closer. I would go after Japanese free agent outfielder Kosuke Fukodome but I'm not sure about what they can do about a closer. Francisco Cordero coming over to the AL would be just as big a risk as sticking with Joe Borowski. And Cordero would be looking for Casey Blake type money.
If the Red Sox were to lose out on Mike Lowell it would be pretty ironic that the Indians would need an outfielder (Coco Crisp) while the Red Sox big need would be a 3rd baseman (Andy Marte). I chuckle at that almost as much as Casey Blake's contract necessitating an 11% hike in ticket prices.