If I were the Cleveland Indians General Manager, the team probably wouldn’t have gone 68-94 last year. More importantly, I know that something has to change besides the manager to really make a change to compete, especially now that the Detroit Tigers just signed Torii Hunter. So what would I do as GM? Here are three trade proposals that I would be picking up the phone to offer out on Day 1.
Trade No. 1
Who I’d call: Cincinnati Reds.
- Who I’d offer: Chris Perez.
- Who I’d ask for: Devin Mesoraco.
- Why this deal makes sense: The Cincinnati Reds would like to add a closer, allowing the team to take advantage of what Aroldis Chapman could become when tossing 170 to 200 innings instead of the 71.2 he tossed in 2012 and the 50 that he tossed in 2011. Perez is under team control for 2013 and 2011, but he is going to be due raises through arbitration in each of those seasons after having earned $4.5 million in 2012.
Adding Mesoraco would give the Indians another solid, young catcher, which would allow the club to move the defenseless Carlos Santana to DH or first base full-time. The Reds have Ryan Hanigan under contract for two more seasons and he will continue to see the bulk of playing time at catcher, especially after leading the majors with a 48 percent caught stealing rate in 2012.
Trade No. 2
- Who I’d call: Boston Red Sox.
- Who I’d offer: Shin-Soo Choo.
- Who I’d ask for: Brandon Workman and Allen Webster
- Why this deal makes sense: The Boston Red Sox have Jacoby Ellsbury to play center and a lot of question marks in the outfield. They had Cody Ross in 2012 but he reached free agency, and they may end up giving at-bats to Daniel Nava or Ryan Sweeney once again if they don’t make any free agent signings. Choo makes sense for their roster due to his ability to lead off or hit in the middle-of-the-order, while the team can move some minor league pitching depth because they always manage to find solid pitching in the draft or through international signings.
Workman was a workhorse who was drafted out of Texas a couple of years ago, while Webster was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers when the Red Sox dumped their payroll out west late in the 2012 season. With Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, Franklin Morales, John Lackey, Rubby De La Rosa, Rich Hill, and Zach Stewart as potential starters, the Red Sox can move Workman and Webster for an immediate offensive need, while the Indians would get two near major league ready starters.
Trade No. 3
Who I’d call: St. Louis Cardinals
- Who I’d offer: Asdrubal Cabrera
- Who I’d ask for: Trevor Rosenthal and Matt Adams
- Why this deal makes sense: With Rafael Furcal at short, the Cardinals need someone who they can actually count on to man the position. They could also move Furcal to second and keep Pete Kozma or Matt Carpenter in reserve roles in 2013, continuing to work with Carpenter on the position until he takes over when Furcal gets injured again. Cabrera would be an excellent fit to the lineup due to his power potential, his ability to switch-hit, and his relatively affordable two-year, $16.5 million contract.
Trevor Rosenthal was a beast in the playoffs and he posted a 2.97 ERA over 109 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012. He has a powerful arm and would be an intriguing acquisition for a team with so little pitching depth. Matt Adams is a first baseman/DH who has tremendous power, having hit .318/.365/.565 with 82 home runs in 1,569 minor league plate appearances. He would be a solid long-term power solution for a team who needs someone who can create instant offense with the longball.
These deals would lead to a pretty impressive rebuild for the Cleveland Indians, focused on the acquistion of starting pitching depth. For teams who have trouble drafting offensive talent, like the Tribe, A’s, and Rays, the ability to rely on pitching could be the push to help the Indians join the other two in the playoff push in the near future.
It all depends on the desire of the management of the teams involved, but with the Indians having yet to show their hand in how they are going to approach their future, these deals would make sense. With ownership seemingly unwilling to add payroll, these deals would not only improve the outlook of the team’s future with the players they are adding, but it would also slash payroll, allowing for a better bottom line for the revenue focused man upstairs.
Do any of these deals make sense? Are there any other trades that you would offer?