Tribe Trading Block: Past and Present

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Trading Block:

The Cleveland Indians are in a unique position as this season progresses. As of today, the Indians have yet to resign Justin Masterson to a long term deal. Neither side could come to an agreement on money per year or length of a contract. As most Cleveland fans know, this can only mean one thing. The Indians are going to trade Masterson at the deadline. I can say with 95% certainty that Masterson is as good as gone. Side note: I hope I am 100% wrong. I can also say that Asdrubal Cabrera is going to be traded. If the Indians do trade both of these guys, we need a bat and a starting pitcher in return.

I can say with 100% certainty that Cabrera is going to be traded. First off, the Indians have Fransico Lindor in AA Akron, the 20 year old phenom from Puerto Rico. Second of all, Cabrera will be a free agent when the season ends. Rather than see him walk for nothing in return, The Indians will trade Cabrera to a contender. As of today, Lindor is not ready to plays in the majors, as he is only 20 years old and very raw, but Mike Aviles can fill the gap at shortstop until Lindor is ready. This is the Indians version of “moneyball”. Rather than sign players for best value, the Indians are, in my opinion; the best in the league at trading talent for even better and younger talent. This current roster is an excellent example of this philosophy. Here are a few trades and grades.

Indians trade Eduardo Perez to the Seattle Mariners for Asdrubal Cabrera (A grade)

 Indians trade Esmil Rogers to the Blue Jays for Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles (A+ grade)

 Indians trade Casey Blake to the LA Dodgers for Carlos Santana (B+ grade)

 Indians trade Jake Westbrook in a three team deal – receive Corey Kluber from the Padres (A grade)

 Indians trade Victor Martinez to Red Sox for Justin Masterson +2 others. (C- grade) The Indians could have gotten Clay Buckholz along with Masterson, but I digress. This grade may change after the Indians deal Masterson.

 Indians trade C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers for Matt Laporta and a player to be named later – Michael Brantley. (F for Laporta, A+++ for Brantley.)

 These are the most notable trades of the past 8 years.  In these trades the Indians have acquired  4 starters and 2 starting pitchers. I would argue that the Indians have the best MLB scouts in the league. To pull off this many trades, and gain this many starters is very rare. The Indians have always been good at trading talent for talent. I know this is a cringe worthy thing for Indians fans to keep enduring. However, it seems reasonable that this tactic could work out sooner rather than later. The Indians previous moves, as I have stated, have landed the Indians very good starters and some decent pitching. This team is only one or two moves away from being a very big problem for the Detroit Tigers. The Indians do not need superstars, just players who can produce when needed.

With these trades in mind, I see Masterson being traded to a contender for, at the minimum; a AAA player with a big bat. I project Asdrubal being traded for a major league ready starting pitcher. I hate to see the Indians trade away talent for future talent, especially Cabrera, since he is my favorite player. However, this will only make the Indians better. There is a an Ace in Corey Kluber waiting to fill Masterson’s shoes, and as I said before Aviles can step in until Lindor is ready for the big leagues.

 

Written By Rick Giavonette

Follow me on Twitter : @CST_RickG

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