Roster shakeout

Shapiro makes his move, inking Felix Heredia to a minor league deal.  Heredia is a classic scrap-heap project and probably could have gotten a minor league deal most anywhere.  He's battled injuries but was a hell of a good pitcher in 2002 and 2003, in particular down the stretch for the Yankees in 2003.  He also dominated the Indians pretty good in the 1997 World Series. Notably, in the embarassing Game 3 slugfest, he retired seven of eight batters, yielding only a walk, while the Mike Jackson allowed the Marlins to tie the game 7-7.

Here's a radical thought on the remaining position battles: Vazquez and Phillips both make the team.

The Indians' first seven games are spread across ten days, and they have four off-days in the first 22 days of the season.  Davis seems to be winning the battle for seventh reliever, but if they break camp with Davis, he likely will rot in the bullpen for two weeks -- just as he did last season.  That's no help.

Karsay seems more and more like a lock for Buffalo, while Graves could win a spot but isn't setting the world on fire.  Neither pitcher is on the 40-man roster, nor is Hollandsworth.  Meanwhile, Vazquez and Phillips are both on the roster.  Trades sometimes take time, and it may be easier to sneak a guy through waivers on April 3 than on March 30.

The Indians don't need seven relievers for the first two weeks, and the idea of installing Davis as the closer in Buffalo has appeal. Alternately, they could probably get away with only carrying three outfielders, plus Eduardo Perez.  Graves or Karsay (or Hollandsworth) can be promised an April promotion once other roster moves get shaken out. Meanwhile, Davis gets just a little more polish time as a reliever in Buffalo.

And the Indians get two more weeks to figure out what to do with Phillips.

UPDATE: On a totally unrelated topic, doesn't Erubiel Durazo seem like a great candidate for one of those cheap, two-year, rehab-now-play-later deals? The guy just got released, seems like he'd take a $1 million, two-year offer seriously.

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