How many top 5 players did the Jacobs sign? The answer is none, time to stop calling the Dolans cheap - Opinion by Tim Shirer
The With the news that the Philadelphia Phillies are the front runner to sign Bryce Harper, the debate, which I personally think is an invalid debate and driven by Cleveland sports talk radio that loves to spin everything Indians in a negative way. The debate is are the Dolan’s cheap?

  
First off, the Phillies are a bigger market team, they can afford a contract 10 years $310 million even if it doesn't work out, they just sign someone else, their revenue is high enough. The Indians on the other hand could not afford to have a contract like this not work out, that's why they never try to sign players to these huge deals. Travis Hafner is the one impact player the Indians have signed when he was a free agent or due to be a free agent, 4 years $49 million and that was a big contract in 2009 and what happened with that? Hafner got injured and only played 372 games of a possible 628 games in his final four years with the Indians. The Hafner contract crippled the Indians payroll wise, they were getting very little production and paying him the highest salary on the team.

  
As soon as the Hafner contract was off the books, they went out and signed Nick Swisher, you might forget but Swisher was a highly sought-after free agent and they signed him. He had one good year and that contract was big and hurt them from signing players for the next two years, people still were not attending games and he got injured and in his final two seasons with the Indians played only 127 games while they were paying him $30 million dollars for virtually no production.

  
Shortly after they got the Swisher contract off the books, they signed Edward Encarnacion after the 2016 season. Encarnacion was the top position player free agent of that off-season and the Dolans shelled out the money $20 million a year to sign him and that was after they came within one game of winning the World Series and what happened? The attendance barely improved, the Indians were still near the bottom of the league in attendance.

People want to say that the Dolans are cheap, but name one top of the line and I mean top five players the Jacobs signed during the years they owned the team? You can't because they didn't do it either. They signed guys to 2- and 3-year deals that were near the ends of their careers that were affordable and still productive. As I said they never signed a player as a free agent the caliber of Mike Trout or Harper who were in the prime of their career. It just wasn't smart business then and isn't now.

  
So, when the Indians don't re-sign Lindor, layoff the Dolans, it's the way baseball is set up not the fault of the Dolans. The Dolans are cheap is the stuff that comes from people who are uneducated about how economics work in baseball and don’t want to learn about it because they like to complain, because they think it makes them sound cool. Because let’s face it, these types of people still have middle school type mentalities.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or Follow us  on Twitter at SportsSentinel
​POSTED 02/23/2019 17:08
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