Dolan must buckle down and pay up

The Dolans understand this off-season is extremely critical. They have to worry about putting a talented product on the field as well as trying to win the fans in Cleveland back. It’s no secret that Tribe fans are disappointed not only with the poor season by the team but also with the penny-pinching ways of the owners, Larry and Paul Dolan. To win you need to spend and the Dolans are willing to do that this off-season. Just how much is unknown.

“We will spend more money next year. We plan to be aggressive. We will probably spend more than we will anticipate taking in, but I won’t say how much. It’s too early to know.”

Dolan said next year’s payroll will be “north of $60 million.”

Realistically, the payroll must approach $70 million if ownership is serious about returning the team to contention.

The front office also has to change some tactics. So often, they spend the winter chasing free agents and signing none of them. A better approach would be to explore the trade market, dealing for talented players on teams looking to cut payroll, and using prospects as bait.

“That is a possibility,” said Dolan. “We will be in a compete mode this winter, not development.”

Next season is arguably the most important in recent Indians’ history. The Dolans need to show fans that they care about winning as this team is reaching a pivotal juncture. Wedge will be on the hot seat next season as well. After winning 93 games in ’05 and dipping to whatever their win total comes to at the end of this season, the Tribe can’t afford to have another losing season next year. It’ll be up to the ownership and the manager to do their part so they can get this franchise on the right track again.

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates.