With the trade deadline fast approaching, I thought now would be a good time to say goodbye to some of the players who will most likely be departing the Indians before the deadline hits.
RHP Jake Westbrook
Why the Tribe would trade him: He’s in the last year of a miserable three-year extension. However since he’s in the last year of his deal, his contract isn’t crippling, and he’s bounced back from Tommy John surgery. Good vet and a good clubhouse presence. He doesn’t seem to factor into the Indians’ long term plans (read: youth movement) and while there have been talks of keeping Westbrook and signing him to an extension although the allure of getting a player or possibly some salary relief for Jake the Snake might just be too enticing to pass up.
Why the Tribe would keep him: He is a good veteran presence and the Tribe might want to keep a leader on the mound to help rear the kids. As mentioned, there has been talk of extending Westbrook.
Who would want him: The Cardinals and Mets have both been mentioned as suitors, although really any contender (or would be contender) who needed an innings-eater would probably kick the tires on Westbrook.
Odds of a trade: 80%
CL Kerry Wood
Why the Tribe would trade him: Um, he’s making $10.5 million this year on a bad team with limited save opportunities. He obviously doesn’t want to be here any more either.
Why the Tribe would keep him: Despite his recent resurgence, Wood’s numbers haven’t been good this season (6.27 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 8 Saves). It will probably be hard to find a team willing to give up anything of value for Wood. And did I mention he’s making $10.5 million this year?
Who would want him: There have been rumors that the Cubs are interested, but that team is in so much turmoil it’s hard to envision them taking on Wood’s contract. Really, the Tribe’s best bet is to hope a contender’s closer goes down.
Odds of a trade: 60% (although it’s about 90% that Wood is gone before the end of the season)
OF Austin Kearns
Why the Tribe would trade him: Although he’s dropped off a bit lately, Kearns has been a pleasant surprise for the Indians, who signed him to a “what the hell, why not” minor-league deal in January. He wound up not only making the club, but hitting his way into the everyday lineup. He currently has 7 HR and .356 OBP. He’s only signed through this season, and doesn’t seem to fit into the Indians’ long-term plans.
Why the Tribe would keep him: Because he’s cheap, and he has been one of the few bright spots on this dreary Indians team. The Indians may want to gamble that Kearns isn’t a fluke and sign him to a short extension.
Who would want him: The Red Sox are reportedly interested, but so far the Indians asking price has been too high. The Indians look at Kearns as an everyday player while most contenders are looking at him as a role player.
Odds of a trade: 80%
SS Jhonny Peralta
Why the Tribe would trade him: Quite simply, Peralta has sucked again this year. .312 OBP, .701 OPS, and just 5 HR. This of course doesn’t include the less-than-stellar defense Tribe fans have come to know and love. He’s in the last year of his deal and unless he takes a pay cut, he won’t be back with the Tribe next year.
Why the Tribe would keep him: I can only think of two reasons: 1) because no team would be interested in Peralta with the way he has been performing lately, or 2) Peralta has some incriminating evidence against the Indians’ front office.
Who would want him: I got nothing. Someone really desperate.
Odds of a trade: 45%
RHP Fausto Carmona
Why the Tribe would trade him: Although Carmona’s contract isn’t bad by any means (as long as he’s pitching halfway decently), the Indians may want to move him while he has some value again. Being named to the All-Star team doesn’t hurt.
Why the Indians would keep him: He’s signed for at least another year to a team-friendly contract. He still doesn’t seem to have tapped his potential. He does seem to figure into the Indians’ long-term plans.
Who would want him: A LOT of a teams, who might see Carmona as a better option than a guy like Jake Westbrook but still cheaper than a Cliff Lee. Toronto is supposedly very interested.
Odds of a trade: 15% (The Indians would have to be blown away.)