The Akron Aeros will have almost a completely different roster headed into next season as most of the key players will head to the Huntington Bank Stadium in Columbus, but there will be a lot of new, young, high-caliber talent headed to Akron. The Aeros headed into the Eastern League Finals last season, but fell to the AA-Affiliate of the Yankees. With the new players added to the roster, the Aeros look to head back to the Eastern League Finals.
Here is the roster I expect to see the Aeros put on the field on most days…
1) John Drennen – CF
2) Carlos Santana – C
3) Beau Mills – 1B
4) Nick Weglarz – LF
5) Jared Goedert – 3B
6) Matt Whitney – DH
7) Carlos Rivero – SS
8) Ryan Goleski – RF
9) Niuman Romero – 2B
* Goleski could be used as a 4th OF for the Columbus Clippers next season, while Niuman Romero could be picked up by another team as he is a minor league free agent who will likely not be added to the 40-man roster. However, I think Romero will re-sign with us and be penciled in as the every day 2B at Akron.
* John Drennen could be on his last legs at Akron next season. After a pretty decent rookie campaign, he’s become nothing more than a footnote on the career of Roger Clemens (homering off of him while Clemens was making his comeback). If he doesn’t excel this year at AA, he likely will never see AAA in a Tribe uniform. The lack of a leadoff hitter might allow Drennen to be used as the leadoff hitter.
* If Goleski and Romero aren’t on the team at Akron other potential replacements are Roman Pena or Lucas Montero.
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.
Over the past twenty-four hours the Indians have announced two moves to the 40-man roster. Brad Snyder, a 26-year old Bellevue, OH native was claimed by the Chicago Cubs. Snyder, a former first-round pick, and rated one of the top 5-tool players in the draft, never lived up to his hype. He only made one appearance in an Indians uniform and didn’t see the field. Snyder will not likely be added to the Cubs 40-man roster, once again exposing him to the Rule 5 draft, but he is highly unlikely to be snatched up by another team. Snyder’s biggest problem seemed to be contact with the ball as he averaged over a strikeout per game in every level of his minor league career, and didn’t bat higher than .263 in the last two seasons at AAA Buffalo.
Reid Santos, a 26-year old from Hawaii and a former 13th round pick by the Indians was also claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays when the Indians attempted to move him off of their 40-man roster. A former starter with an 8-3 record last season at Akron, he became strictly a reliever this year and had a 4-3 record with a 4.89 ERA between Buffalo and Akron.
The Indians 40-man roster now stands at 38 and expects to get lighter after the season. Other potential roster casualties could include Brian Slocum, Tom Mastny, Bryan Bullington, and David Dellucci. Players who have contracts that expire after the season that will likely not be re-signed include Juan Rincon, Brendan Donnelley, and Sal Fasano.
In the next few days I will post who I feel will be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 draft.