By Paul Hoynes, cleveland.com | Posted January 19, 2019 at 05:59 PM | Updated January 19, 2019 at 07:34 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Do you have a question that you’d like to have answered in Hey, Hoynsie? Submit it here or contact him on Twitter at @hoynsie
Jose Ramirez is going to need some help this year. (Joshua Gunter, cleveland.com)
Did the front office get the memo about the Tribe’s lineup?
Hey, Hoynsie: Do you think the Indians’ front office and owner are aware of how weak their batting order is as of the third week of January? Do you think they will add at least one big bat before the season starts and who that might be? — Joe Eversole, Pelham, Ala.
Hey, Joe: We just talk about this stuff, they live it so, yes, they’re certainly aware of the holes in this lineup. But it’s not like it just snuck up on them yesterday. They knew this was coming.
I do think they will add a bat before opening day, but I don’t know how big a bat it will be. It doesn’t sound like they were in on Avisail Garcia — not a big fan after seeing him butcher so many balls in right field for the White Sox — who signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Rays. So you can put that in your back pocket as far as prices go.
Tony Clark, executive director of the players association. (Chuck Crow)
Are tensions growing between players and owners?
Hey, Hoynsie: What’s behind the slow pace of signing big-name free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado? Are teams in financial binds or are players asking for too much money? How concerned is the players association and will it lead to a strike? — Robert Pierce, Elizabethton, Tenn.
Hey, Robert: This is the second straight free-agent market that can be timed with a sundial. It has increased tensions between the owners and players and the idea of instituting an offseason deadline has been discussed.
I think Harper and Machado are the exceptions just because of the size of the contracts they want. It’s going to take a while for those kind of deals to get worked out. Unfortunately, there are still too many unsigned veterans twisting in the wind. The teams have learned to play the waiting game well and charges of collusion by the union are always bubbling beneath the surface.
Another source of tension is Commission Rob Manfred’s desire to institute measures to speed up the game. The union is opposed to many of them, but Manfred has the power to make them part of the game without the union’s approval.
As for teams being in financial distress, the next time you hear about a big-league club declaring bankruptcy, let me know.
Cody Anderson (left) talks to Sandy Alomar last spring training. (Chuck Crow, The Plain Dealer)