Hey Hoynsie: Why did the Indians invest almost $ 9 million in catchers Roberto Perez and Austin Hedges? – Ted, Sierra Madre, California.
Hey Ted: I’ll admit seeing Perez and Hedges, two catchers who didn’t reach their weight last year when the second and third highest paid Indian player (to date) sucks. I think that has more to do with the sweeping cuts the Indians made to the payroll than Perez and Hedges getting overpaid.
Perez signed his four-year contract at the end of spring training in 2017 when the payroll was $ 124 million instead of $ 37.5 million. The 2021 portion of the deal ($ 5.5 million) is the first of two club options. Overall, for a catcher who has won two gold gloves in a row, it’s good business for the Indians.
When Hedges was acquired by San Diego in August, he made $ 3 million (before it was proportionate). He avoided arbitration on Friday by approving a $ 3.28 million deal. A player’s salary can be reduced by 20% in arbitration, but Hedges only had 12 bats with the Indians. I don’t think this argument would have been well received in an arbitration tribunal.
On most large league teams, Hedges’ salary is considered normal for a backup catcher with more than four years of service.
Hey Hoynsie, can you give me an update on how the Rocky Colavito statue is going? – Patrick, Twinsburg.
Hey Patrick: I checked with Bobby DiBiasio from the Indians who is helping to raise funds for the project. He said things are going well, but fans can still participate in the construction of the statue in Little Italy. Granite slabs from $ 1,000 to $ 5,000 are still available, as is paving stones from $ 125 to $ 250. The Lakewood sculptor David Deming creates the bronze statue. Deming’s previous works include statues of Larry Doby, Lou Boudreau, Jim Thome, Frank Robinson and Jim Brown. For more information, see rockycolavitostatue.com or email Ida Pocci [email protected].
Hey Hoynsie: Why does Paul Dolan think fans should be loyal to a team that will never have a chance of winning because they don’t spend money to be competitive? – Hank, Charleston, SC
Hey Hank: I understand your frustration, but the Indians put a winning team on the field for eight years. You have gone into the postseason five times in those eight years and won an AL pennant and three division titles. It’s hard to see players like Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco trading on wage cuts, but the organization continues to put good teams on the field.
Hey Hoynsie: Was there ever a word in the organization about what the Indians did best to offer Francisco Lindor? I’m curious to see if you’ve heard anything behind the scenes. – Kyle Williams, Westerville.
Hey Kyle: Last spring training session, when the two sides were last negotiating, the Indians offered Lindor a deal between $ 220 million and $ 250 million. Lindor and his agent wanted between $ 325 million and $ 350 million. LIndor said both sides were trying their best to get a deal.
Hey Hoynsie: The wage bill is currently estimated at $ 37.5 million. Two of the White Sox’s launch rotations cover that amount, so I believe the rebuilding is real. Why doesn’t the front office, or rather the property, say that? – Tom, Mt. Vernon.
Hey Tom: I checked the White Sox payroll. The rotation’s two highest-paid members, Dallas Keuchel and Lance Lynn, will collectively earn $ 26 million this year. But I understand your point.
For the past two or three years, I’ve asked Chris Antonetti, president of the baseball division, at the beginning of each season if this would be a makeover. Every time he said no, the Indians went out and had a successful season. He has said the same thing about the 2021 season, but this will be by far the biggest challenge facing the organization since Terry Francona became manager in 2013.
Hey Hoynsie: Do you think the Indians misunderstood the free agent market? I was stunned by DJ LeMahieu’s contract – six years at $ 90 million for an all-star with better numbers than Francisco Lindor in the past two seasons. Do you think the economics of baseball will change next fall? At least I don’t. I think the free agent market will be depressed for a few years. – John, Leetonia.
Hey John: I think the Indians had an excellent read. The owners told them they couldn’t get anywhere, let alone chase a player like LeMahieu. The free agent market, with the exception of the star players, has been depressed for the past three years. I don’t think that’s going to change in 2022 unless there are big changes to the basic agreement, which expires in December.
New Indian face masks for sale: Here, you can purchase Cleveland Indian-themed face covers for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99). All MLB proceeds are donated to charity.
More Indian coverage