Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Three Trades the Cleveland Indians Should Make


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

  • Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

    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?

Tags: Boston Red Sox Cincinnati Reds Cleveland Indians St Louis Cardinals

  • Gvl Steve

    Good ideas. I really like Rosenthal and Adams in the Cardinals system. Workman and Webster are decent prospects, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention Matt Barnes. Maybe he’s untouchable. I’m not sure about acquiring a catcher, especially if you get Adams to play 1st. Maybe targeting an outfielder makes sense instead. If you move Choo, the outfield looks pretty thin and other than Tyler Naquin, there are no prospects on the horizon in the farm system.

  • Hermie13

    The Choo deal seems ok.

    No way in hell though would the Reds deal a catcher with the potential of Mesoraco. They wouldn’t include the kid in the Matt Latos deal, but they’ll deal him straight up for Perez??? They’d be better off bring back Bronxton and giving him the closer’s role. Santana doesn’t need to move from behind the dish either. Not as bad defensively as many make him out to be. Heck, he’s really no worse there than Cabrera is at SS. Definitely doesn’t need to move to DH. OF makes way more sense than 1B too (very solid arm). Don’t get me wrong though, if we the Reds offered Mesoraco for Perez I’d take that deal yesterday. Would be an absolute STEAL. Again though, not happening. Unfortunately Jon Hart is no longer a GM or else we could deal Perez to him and he’d probably give up soemthing similar (see Giles for Rincon).

    Not overly thrilled with the Cabrera deal as I worry Adams is just another power guy that will struggle to hit (ie, LaPorta). Do like Rosenthal but don’t love him. Would try for a better offer there.

  • GaryintheLoo

    As an Os fan I think these are good proposals but I live in St. Louis and there is no way the Cards trade Rosenthal because there are still health concerns about Garcia, Carpenter and even Wainwright.

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  • Michael Chaney

    I’ve long thought about interesting trades the Indians could make to improve both the present and the future. That’s why I’m calling the Arizona Diamondbacks to look into the possibility of them moving some players they seem to have soured on, but yet still have loads of talent. Here would be my proposed deal.

    Diamondbacks Get:

    SS Asdrubal Cabrera

    OF Shin-Soo Choo

    P Chris Perez (I know Towers loves bullpen arms in Arizona, but I’m not sure if this would be too much, or it may even be too little. If not, just a decent prospect and/or other reliever would do.)

    Indians Get:

    OF Justin Upton

    OF Jason Kubel

    P Trevor Bauer

    Here, I think Perez might be needed to make the deal happen, which is alright by me since I have confidence in Vinnie to close down games. The Indians could use Aviles at shortstop, and the acquisitions of both Kubel and Upton negate the need to add an outfielder via another trade or free agency. I think the Indians could keep any of these guys instead of trading them, but I think they are like the Diamondbacks in that it might be best to trade these guys while their value is as good as it is, especially if Arizona really has soured on both Upton and Bauer (they have enough depth to trade away Kubel). If the Indians can make a trade similar to this (they may need to add more, which is understandable), then it would both improve the Indians’ roster as well as the Diamondbacks’. We, for the most part, fill our holes in the outfield and rotation, and the Diamondbacks get a bullpen arm that Towers would love, a shortstop to fill a hole for them, and an outfielder to restore the depth they had with Upton and Kubel. The Indians could absorb the salaries because the money coming in would be approximately close to the money going out.

    • Michael Chaney

      Oops, I didn’t realize how similar this is to the other one proposed on this site. But it might be more enticing to the Diamondbacks anyway.

    • Hermie13

      no way the D’backs go for this deal. They are giving up way too much. Upton is the best player in this deal. Bauer is arguably the 2nd most valuable player in this deal. Tribe would have to include Lindor or Paulino likely to get this to work as Perez would be their 7th inning guy possibly (they already have 2 closers on the roster).

    • Michael Chaney

      I wasn’t absolutely certain they would, and I figured they probably would have to add a little. But adding Lindor or Paulino would make the Indians overpay, because then trading Asdrubal wouldn’t make any sense, and the Diamondbacks probably wouldn’t ask for that much. This offer would probably be more appealing to the Diamondbacks than the Upton/Bauer-Perez/Cabrera one also put on here. I think Perez would be their closer, as JJ Putz would be next in line, with Heath Bell after him (but he might be better with a change of scenery). But something has apparently caused the Diamondbacks to sour on both Bauer and Upton, or else their names wouldn’t be dangled, much less to the extent that they are at this point. But if the Indians need to add more to make it happen, then by all means they should go for it. However, the Diamondbacks are trading all of these guys from areas of depth as they have a lot of capable options in both the rotation and outfield.

    • Hermie13

      Upton and Kubel for Choo and Cabrera probably wouldn’t work for the d’backs.

      So you’re saying that Bauer isn’t worth Lindor or Paulino basically….fair enough, but to the D’backs (and most people in baseball) he’s probably worth more.

  • dK

    Trades 1 and 3 would not happen. Love how fans forget that there are 2 teams that have to agree to these trades…….

    Reds traded grandal cause they had mesoraco. Hanigan is a stop gap and backup. Perez is a RP trending down and getting more expensive.

  • mypoorbuccos

    Reds can’t afford Perez and can’t afford to deal mesoraco after dealing the baby bull

  • Andrew Wurth

    As a Cardinal fan, let me just say that the Cabrera trade would thankfull never, ever happen.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1026687201 Kyle Worlitz

      Agreed! Wouldn’t trade either straight up. Cabrera’s defense is positively horrific. Plus, we can most likely get someone more valuable in a trade centered around Matt Adams. I doubt Rosenthal goes anywhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515466603 Michael Cook

    I think the Indians might actually be a good trade partner for the Dodgers. Since the Dodgers sign Grienke and Ryu, they have a huge pitching surplus. Indians send Asdrubal Cabrera and Chris Perez to Dodgers for Dee Gordon, Chris Reed, Aaron Harang, and Chris Capuano. Gives them a young, cheap replacement at SS, a strong pitching prospect, and two strong inning eaters that were better last year than any of the Tribe’s starters.

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