ESPN radio is reporting that the Indians have picked up the option on Paul Byrd. Byrd, Jow Borowski and Aaron Fultz all have club options that need to be decided upon this week. I would be surprised if all of those options didn’t get renewed by the Tribe.
More importantly, congrats are in order for Indians GM Mark Shapiro. At the GM meetings in Florida on Monday, Mark was given the Sporting News Baseball Executive of the Year award. It was his second, having won the award in 2005. We have always been impressed with Shapiro. He has made some gutsy moves in his tenure here. Some have not worked out, but on the whole he has turned the Indians into a winning club again. And he did it by changing the style of the team. Instead of assembling a team of sluggers, he has focused more on pitching. Shapiro knows that in order to win championships you have to have better pitching. Starting with the farm system, Shapiro has focused on pitching and stockpiling young arms. The result- probably the deepest staff in the majors.
The biggest challenge to Shapiro’s career could be upcoming. The decision on C.C. Sabathia’s future could be the biggest move in the history of the Indians. Whether or not they are able to resign him, or what they can get for him in a trade could dictate the success of the Indians for the next few years. Of course, he could always roll the dice and hope that the Indians win the Series next year. If Sabathia walks away from the Tribe after winning us a World Series, then it would be worth it wouldn’t it? Would you trade a championship for nothing in return? I sure would. Not that it is a given he would walk away, but let’s be realistic about the type of money Sabathia will be offered. Few teams will be in that bidding war. I just hope the Indians are one of them.