After a day off we are back with our Factory Lines: A Daily Assembling of Cleveland Sports Headlines.
Versatile free agent infielder Elliot Johnson has agreed to a minor league contract with the Indians that includes an invitation to big league spring training camp.
Johnson provides depth to the Indians infield prospects. The Tribe are currently taking flyers on players that could stick but that if they don’t won’t greatly impact the team. Still a few possible starting pitchers out there that could intrigue the Indians if the price falls.
It appears discussions about a multiyear deal for Justin Masterson have been shelved while the Indians and his agent, Randy Rowley, work toward a one-year deal with or without the arbitration process.
The 6-6, 250-pound Masterson filed at $11.8 million. The Indians countered at $8.05 million. The midpoint is $9.925 million.
Masterson is the horse, ace of the Tribe’s staff. Without a multi-year deal in place its possible the team could look to move him, especially if the team falls out of contention quickly this year. Masterson’s contract, or lack thereof, will be a big sign of the Indians ownership’s ability and willingness to pay for big time talent.
Names like Arron Afflalo, Spencer Hawes,Pau Gasol, Caron Butler and Chris Kaman are some veteran names who could be on the move before the deadline.
Adding one of these names or other established veterans to the mix of young talent would almost assure the Cavaliers a playoff berth.
Cleveland can risk staying put and hope that Deng is enough to lift them into the postseason. If Grant wants to keep his job while appeasing the owner and fans, he should instead continue to be active at this year’s trade deadline.
Many have and will continue to pontificate over what the Cavs will do with the rest of the season. The fact that they are still only 2 games out of a playoff spot only magnifies how terrible the East is, and how easy it might be to make the playoffs. Adding Afflalo is this writers favorite choice, especially if the Cavs can do so and only give up Jarrett Jack and a first rounder. Adding a veteran that can play in the flow of the game could be huge for the team, especially next to Luol Deng.
Expecting explanations at Cavaliers practice on Monday afternoon? Or perhaps outrage?
There was none of that.
After Sunday’s monumental flop against Phoenix, in which the Cavs lost a 20-point first-half lead in what became a 99-90 loss at The Q, there was no word from owner Dan Gilbert, general manager Chris Grant or even the players, who took part in a regularly scheduled post-practice meeting with league representatives.
The hope is that this is a sign of a professional team, that emotions are not running them after a huge loss. Yet as fans we want to see emotions, we want to see players who care a little bit about their team’s fate. Should the Cavs and their players freak out after such a huge loss? No but hopefully there is a sense of urgency with the games coming up.
Assembling his initial coaching staff as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Mike Pettine on Monday hired his first eight assistant coaches.
Pettine on Monday hired two of his three coordinators, Jim O’Neil (defense) and Chris Tabor (special teams). Additionally, Pettine named Brian Angelichio tight ends coach, Bobby Babich assistant secondary coach, Chuck Driesbach linebackers coach, Brian Fleury assistant linebackers coach, Jeff Hafley secondary coach and Shawn Mennenga assistant special teams coach.
Somewhat expected Pettine brought in a couple buddies from the Bills, specifically O’Neil as the defensive coordinator. Retaining Tabor will be huge for the special teams which was solid most of the year, find the long term kicker and punter would also help. The big hire is yet to come. Who will run the offense? Gary Kubiak had been mentioned as well as Cam Cameron but both are off the board, so who is left? This will be a huge hire for Pettine who has a defensive mindset. He has to find someone he gels with that will compliment what he is doing on the defensive side.
#29: Kane – D’Qwell Jackson - Kane, like Jackson, is a veteran of the WWE. He can still provided important role in storylines, occasionally have a huge run at a title but most of the time he is a steady hand that would not be highly missed, except for the day and week following his release. Jackson could possibly be released this off-season. While he has some talent and his veteran moxxy can play a role on the team, if he is released it would be noticeable for a day or a few weeks but not much after that.
Just a fun way to pass the time before the draft and training camp.
What news did we miss? What did you find important in the last 24 hours or so of Cleveland sports? Talk to us in our comment section below