By Monday, we’ll know what the Indians have decided about both the Grady Sizemore ($9 million) and Fausto Carmona ($7 million) options for 2012. That’s because the Indians have three days after the end of the World Series to make these decisions, and if Game 7 is necessary, it will take place Friday.
- They will pick up Fausto’s option, which is probably wise. It seems odd to suggest that Fausto Carmona and “risk-averse” should be used in the same sentence, but there won’t be a pitcher available for that amount of money on a one year deal who’s more likely than Fausto to give us #2-#3 production. In that way, picking up the option is the least risky thing to do. This is only compounded by the fact that we’ll be without Carlos Carrasco for all of 2012.
- They will not pick up Sizemore’s $9 million option. This could result in them announcing a new, multi-year deal with Sizemore—which Paul Hoynes has said is out of the question—or just cutting him loose. But spending $9 million on a one-year player who’s most recent list of accomplishments include two knee surgeries, a sports-hernia surgery and a bum elbow just doesn’t make much sense. If they believe his injuries are temporary, they try their hardest to sign him to a three year contract; if not, they don’t. Either way, $9 million for one year seems crazy.
Or at least that’s what I think.
But it’s important to remember that what I think and what you think and what anyone else who’s not intimately familiar with the Indians’ front office thinks is not only not important (since we won’t make the decision), but probably not all that valid.
And that’s because there are somewhere between 100 and 1,000 things that we just can’t know about this situation. There are the obvious things, like MRIs that we don’t have access to, or off-season workouts that we don’t get to see, or in-house evaluation metrics that aren’t shared with the public.
But there are also the more nebulous factors. What sort of team does Chris Antonetti want to build? Does he value veteran players (beyond their on-field production)? Does ownership have a say in this? If so, how much? Does the front office, despite what they say publicly, feel that it’s 2012 or bust for this group? Each of these questions has an answer that could significantly impact the decision facing the club this weekend. And while we like to imagine that we can divine the motivations and impulses of our front office, the truth is that we really have no idea what they’re thinking.
So while I’m pretty confident in my prediction, I also have this nagging feeling that I might get surprised this weekend. If I had to guess, Antonetti and company have already made their decisions. Sunday will just offer the formality and finality of an official announcement. And the reminder that for all the thinking and writing we do about these things: we just can’t predict what a team will do when they have more information than we do. Remember the Ubaldo trade?
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)