This was quite the trade deadline filled with rumors of Bryce Harper being traded, and (the Nationals GM) Mike Rizzo stating he was not going anywhere. To guys such as Brian Dozier, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Cameron Maybin, Jonathan Schoop all the way up to the last few minutes of the deadline. With that in mind who did the Indians grab and what does it mean for them going forward? Well, let’s start with the acquisition of CF Leonys Martin from the Detroit Tigers and an AA pitcher. In return, the Tigers received the Indians’ number eight prospect, Willi Castro. First off the Tribe gives up a SS prospect where there was no room for with Frankie Lindor on the roster and who was known for his glove more than his bat. He was added to the Indians’ 40 man roster as to keep him away from teams in the rule five draft, but he likely would have been nothing more than a utility infielder in the majors. The Indians are competing for a championship right now and a future utility guy would do nothing to assist the team with at this juncture.
Leonys Martin is a speedy CF who provides the Indians with good defense and a solid bat against right-handed pitching. He is currently batting .251/.321/.409 overall with nine HR, 29 RBI, 45 Runs Scored and seven SB. Versus RHP he has batted .275 with seven of his nine HRs and 20 RBI. Whereas against lefties he is only batting .176 with two HR and nine RBI. It is likely Martin will platoon with Davis in CF for the remainder of the year hitting against RHP and Davis against LHP, but he provides us with more speed and someone who can possibly help out the bottom of the top-heavy order. For now, Brandon Guyer and Melky Cabrera will continue to platoon in RF hopefully continuing to provide the production we have recently seen from them. Bottom line is the Indians did not get a bonafide star like Harper but still got exactly what they wanted in a veteran bat with some control. They did not have to give up the farm to acquire him and are still in a position to make further moves in August should the need arise. We acquired Jay Bruce last year in August after he cleared waivers. Be sure to watch for a similar move if the front office deems it necessary.
I could see a potential addition like Andrew McCutchen in August, once the Giants fall further out of contention, as he was not moved before the non-waiver deadline. He could potentially provide punch in RF if Guyer and Melky prove unproductive leading up to September and playoff time. I also would not close the door on anyone from the Marlins such as Derek Dietrich if the Marlins get an offer they like. In other news, the Indians also acquired Oscar Mercado from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for prospects Connor Capel and Jhon Torres. Mercado is an AAA SS who would potentially be a utility player for the Indians should the need arise this year or next. He also provides a little depth down in the minor leagues between prospects that are not quite ready to come up giving the Indians a potentially productive young player.