The Cleveland Indians traded RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen and a player to be named later. In return, they got OF Josh Naylor, RHP Cal Quantrill, C Austin Hedges, INF Gabriel Arias, LHP Joey Cantillo and INF Owen Miller. With so many rumors involving Clevinger surfacing over the past couple of days, it’s no wonder Cleveland got such a massive haul for one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. The Indians might miss Clevinger, but they have plenty of starting pitching to cover the loss. The Tribe will be happy with the new prospects and young MLB players under team control for the next few years, though.
Josh Naylor should immediately slot in as the new left fielder. He’s shown solid potential and looks promising through the first 112 games of his career between last season and this season slashing .253/.315/.405 with 24 extra-base hits. He’s also the older brother of one of the Indians’ top prospects and former first-round pick, Bo Naylor. Cal Quantrill will likely join the bullpen as he’s 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA through 10 games to start the season. The last of the players swapped for Clevinger expected to join the big league club is catcher Austin Hedges, who should fill in nicely as a backup behind Roberto Pérez. Hedges is an upgrade from Sandy Leon and Beau Taylor and is an exceptional defensive catcher with a great arm behind the plate, but he, unfortunately, hasn’t offered much on offense to this point with a career average of .199 spread across six seasons.
The prospects in this deal are quite interesting.
Gabriel Arias has the looks of a rising talent who could develop into a stud shortstop at the major league level. At just 19 years old in high-A last year, he slashed .302/.339/.470 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI while being an above-average defender with tons of range, smooth hands and a strong arm. 20-year-old left-handed pitcher Joey Cantillo is another intriguing young prospect with good stuff. He’s put up a 2.51 combined ERA through three minor league seasons from the rookie-level to high-A. He’s also struck out 221 batters to 51 walks and continues to display great movement on his pitches, especially with his above-average changeup. The last is Owen Miller, who can seemingly be compared to a young Jason Kipnis. He’s showed great promise as a future second baseman with the ability to steal some bases, hit for a high average, and continually make solid contact at the plate. With a .307 average over his first two seasons in the minors, Miller is on the fast track to reaching the majors hopefully by some time next year and he could be the Tribe’s long-term answer at second base.
Overall, this was a massive deal for the Indians and it is one they can likely afford to make without it affecting the great run as a pitching staff too much. Naylor and Quantrill should be a big help this season, Hedges will be a solid backup and all three of the prospects give fans a reason to be excited about the future.
It’s possible that the Indians found a future left fielder, shortstop, second baseman, a solid bullpen option and a potential deceptive lefty starting pitcher. Of course, the odds are that all these guys won’t end up working out, but the trade looks promising.
Time will tell who came out on top, but the trade looks like a win for both sides.