Transactions

Signed 1B Ben Broussard, RHP Francisco Cruceta, RHP Jason Davis, 2B/SS Brandon Phillips, RHP Kyle Denney, OF Jody Gerut, LHP Cliff Lee, and OF Grady Sizemore to 2005 contracts

These are most of the high-profile renewables, excepting Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner, who may be getting multi-year deals. Broussard is a lock to be arbitration-eligible next season, so depending on how Michael Aubrey does this season, Broussard may become trade bait next offseason. Jody Gerut’s knee injury probably will cost him some dollars in arbitration next year. Jason Davis and Cliff Lee will probably be in the “super-two” range, so how they pitch this season will determine their paydays next winter. Denney, Sizemore, and Cruceta are at least two years away from arbitration.

Here’s the salary figures for the renewables already signed (scroll down).

Extended the contracts of Assistant GM – Scouting Director John Mirabelli, Assistant GM Chris Antonetti, Director of Player Development John Farrell, and Special Assistant to the GM Neal Huntington through the 2007 season.

Essentially Mark Shapiro is keeping his front office staff together through the remainder of his current deal. Mirabelli has done a tremendous job in recent drafts, especially the 2003 draft, where he selected Michael Aubrey, Brad Snyder, Adam Miller, and Ryan Garko in the first three rounds. Chris Antonetti is essentially Shapiro’s second-in-command, and has been mentioned frequently as a future GM candidate; he’s the sabermetric guy in the front office. John Farrell is in charge of players in the minor-league system, which is in still in great shape after all the recent graduations. Neal Huntington’s main job is advance major-league scouting, which to my knowledge will be done live this year; before most of the scouting had been done via video tape.

Please keep Adam Miller’s right elbow in your prayers.

Remember, this afternoon is the first Spring Training game! For those of you in the Cleveland area, WTAM (1100 AM) will be airing it beginning at 1:05 PM.

I’ll continue my players ratings tomorrow with the position players, move on to the bullpen on Saturday, and finish up with the bench on Monday.

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