The list of minor league free agents for the Cleveland Indians will be
released on October 15th, but according to the Indians Top Prospects
blog, the list is as follows.
Pitchers (9): T.J. Burton
(RHP), Eddie Buzachero (RHP), Matt Ginter (RHP), John Halama (LHP),
Jeff Harris (RHP), Juan Lara (LHP), Preston Larrison (RHP), J.D. Martin
(RHP) Jeff Weaver (RHP)
Catchers (3): Armando Camacaro, Damaso Espino, Yamid Haad
First basemen (1): Matt Whitney
Second Basemen (2): Andy Cannizaro, Brandon Chaves
Shortstops (1): Niuman Romero
Third Basemen (2): Morgan Ensberg, Tony Graffanino,
Outfielders (5): Jason Cooper, Andy Gonzalez, Todd Linden, Nathan Panther, Bronson Sardinha
In my mind there are potentially 3-6 players that we should plan to re-sign. The rest could all potentially be re-signed if need be, but none of the rest are necessities and probably just filler if signed.
First off, I think we need to add JD Martin to the 40-man roster, therefore trumping the minor league free agency he would be granted. If he isn’t added to the 40-man, he’d likely sign on with another team as a minor league free agent with an invitation to the Major League camp. I think he’s shown healthy enough over the past year to now have a chance on this club.
I would also try hard to re-sign Niuman Romero. I think he played over his head this year and wouldn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster, but with our lack of depth at middle infield in our minor league system, he might have a future somewhere with this team. He’d probably be a utility guy, but it’d be nice to have a utility guy that can handle the bat a little bit like Romero.
Other potential guys we should attempt to sign are Matt Whitney, TJ Burton, Bubbie Buzachero, and Andy Cannizaro. Burton and Buzachero are potentially good enough to make a Major League ballclub, and it’d be nice to have that bullpen depth still within our system. Matt Whitney had a down year in Akron, and may not ever be the same, but he still has great power potential and could play first, third, and DH at Columbus. The only reason at all to keep a near 30-year old Cannizaro is our lack of depth at 2B. He’s a slick defender and had a good stick at Buffalo this year after we picked him up. However if Barfield starts the year at Columbus, no need to hold onto Cannizaro.
The rest are just taking up room in our system. With how many solid core players are going to be moving up in each level of our system, we can just cut ties with the rest. Let me just wish the best of luck to Juan Lara in whatever he does with the rest of his life. His injury in his homeland was indeed tragic, and I hope he can find success somewhere in life even if it is outside of baseball.