Every weekday morning, we’ll take a look at headlines from the last 24 hours to make sure you’re up-to-date on everything Cleveland sports. With three major teams in one town, fans have a lot of information to process. Some headlines are big, but often it’s the small news that can have the greatest impact (Jason Giambi signing with the Indians last year is a great example). So we’re here to help. Let’s take a look:
According to Jason La Canfora at CBS Sports:
“… [the Browns] are willing to trade up to land Johnny Manziel in the draft if need be, sources said, and have an owner, Jimmy Haslam, who is committed to spending their abundant cap space to try to win quickly.”
We’d rather the team take the best player available instead of trading picks to move up. We’ve recently said Manziel can be a really good quarterback in the NFL, but:
“He’s not positioned to have long-term success with his playing style, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make smart decisions and avoid a catastrophic injury. We’re more prone to want the Browns to draft a pocket passer, and the chance of injury makes us think twice about taking Manziel. It’s the same reason we didn’t want the Browns to give up so many first round picks for RGIII two years ago. The Redskins are paying the price right now with so many other holes on their roster.”
With a lot of question marks - and possibly losing two free agent Pro Bowlers this offseason - it would be a huge mistake to give away picks. The chance of Manziel landing to the team if they stay put are very favorable. And with a likely first-time head coach figuring his way, getting down the x’s and o’s will be hard enough without having to worry about Johnny Football being happy. Still, this could all be a smokescreen from other teams hoping to coax another that needs a QB into trading up ahead of Cleveland.
The Anthony Bennett to the D-League saga is still very much alive. Jonathan Wasserman at Bleacher Report gave his opinion yesterday on what the Cavs should do:
“The kid needs some confidence. He needs to build some rhythm out there. Trial and error is a huge part of the developmental process—figuring out what works, what doesn’t, the cold spots, the sweet spots.
Playing time is actually even more important for a kid like a Bennett—a combo forward who played the 4 at UNLV, yet will likely have to evolve into an NBA small forward. Undersized at power forward without much of a post game, Bennett needs every rep he can get at a position that will take time to learn.”
Wasserman couldn’t be anymore right. If Bennett isn’t in the rotation, what’s the point of having his growth stunted on the bench? This isn’t a time to be proud. It doesn’t matter that he was the first overall pick. The kid needs help. And now that we’re positioning ourselves to make the playoffs after the Luol Deng trade, perhaps Bennett will find his way and be ready for when that time comes.
Pitching takes the lead in Indians news. While the team and ace Justin Masterson are very far apart in contract negotiations and likely headed to arbitration, the Indians might have their fifth starter in the works. It’s been reported that along with the Seattle Mariners, they are front runners in acquiring free agent pitcher Scott Baker:
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 19, 2014
Brian Heise at Wahoo’s on First had this to say about Baker:
‘The right-handed pitcher, who missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, made three starts for the Cubs in 2013. However, Baker did pitch well in those three starts. He posted a 3.60 ERA and 0.867 WHIP and did not record a decision. Baker is reported to be fully recovered from the 2012 Tommy John surgery and ready to make a major contribution at the big league level for whichever team that chooses to sign him.”
We’ve seen the Indians catch lightning in a bottle with Scott Kazmir last season, and it’s obvious the team is comfortable taking chances in order to improve. They say lightning never strikes twice, but there’s really no choice with the amount of money the club consistently sends out to the mound.
Did we miss anything from the last 24 hours that is important to Cleveland fans? Let us know below in the comments and/or follow on Twitter and send us a tweet.