Monday, July 7, 2008

Shapiro: Now was better than later

Just got done watching Mark Shapiro’s press conference on ESPN.

Here, in a nutshell, is what he said.

The strongest point he tried to make (perhaps looking at some of the backlash already) is that the trade offers he got now were likely better than what he could have anticipated as the trading deadline approached.

That seems counterintuititive (a fancy word for BS), but he did have a viable explanation.

Shapiro said there were seven teams involved in the conversation. Two - presumably the Brewers being one of the two - said they were likely to downgrade their offers the longer they had to wait to get CC. Other teams, Shapiro said, were on the periphery of contention and may or may not have remained in the market three weeks from now.

It seems as though Shapiro was unwilling to play a game of chicken with the two teams who said CC would be worth less to them as time wore on and just decided a bird in the hand was the way to go. Time will tell.

One other interesting note - Shapiro seemed to indicate that the alleged last-gasp effort to sign CC before taking offers never happened.

“We felt we thoroughly explored an extension with CC in spring training. CC made it clear that once the season started he did not want to entertain any negotiations. In addition to that, our exploration of a contract in spring training was thorough enough to understand that the combination of our capabilities and CC’s expectations didn’t align. “

The GM would not put any expectations on newly acquired Matt LaPorta, saying only that he would be moved along at a pace commensurate with his performance. As far as whether he would likely be a 1B or an outfielder, Shapiro said the Tribe would move LaPorta from right to left for now and have him take groundballs at 1B. The GM said LaPorta would likely see time at 1B this season in the minors. Shapiro said when LaPorta appears to be on the verge of major-league readiness, the team will look at its needs on the big club at the time and decide from there where to use him.

Shapiro also said the player to be named later - whoever that turns out to be - is someone who, if not included, would have caused the deal to go sour. In other words its a serious prospect, though he refused to say too much for fear of giving away the identity of the player.

When asked if the team needed a serious overhaul on offense Shapiro said he expects Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner to be back and to contribute as they have in the past - and he said their return later this season will give him a better idea of what to expect from them next year. Still, he said, the team will continue to look to upgrade its offense, as well as the bullpen. There are no current trade talks underway however, according to Shapiro.

The GM said he is glad he didn’t pull the trigger on any off-season trades because the addition of one more bat would not have made any compensated for the way the offense has produced due to injuries and under-performance.


the moose said...

maybe we should have sweetened CC deal by offering a statue outside the stadium, a street name, or some other perks. Wonde how much his shirts are selling for

Heard the brewer travel budget is going up - got to take 2 planes - fielder and CC put the plane over the weight limit !!!

the moose said...

9 and counting - this team plays like a AAA team

embaressing - thursday night should be interesting - predictions on attendance

the marketing guys are really going have to earn their money

the vendors will be sent home early