In what was exactly the move Indians fans have been looking for throughout the past few years, the Indians have traded Jose De La Torre (a 26 year old relief pitcher in AA) to the Boston Red Sox for Brent Lillibridge (a 28 year old glorified pinch runner).
First, what the Indians are losing. De La Torre started in Columbus this season after being brought over from the Mets during the off season. He was moderately successful, pitching in 7 games, striking out 16 in 10 innings and giving up four runs, but was demoted and has spent most of the season with Akron. With the Aeros he pitched well, going 7-1 from the bullpen with an ERA of 2.80 in 27 games (1 start). While he was playing well in AA, the fact that he is already 26 places him 2-4 years older than most of his competition. He was unlikely to ever make the Cleveland Indians Major League roster.
In return, Brent Lillibridge will be immediately placed on the 25 man and has already replaced Lonnie Chisenhall on the 40 man roster as Chisenhall has been moved to the 60 Day DL. This is his second trade of the year as he went to the Red Sox from the White Sox in the Kevin Youkilis trade. Of course the Indians would have preferred Kevin Youkilis. This year Lillibridge is batting .165, which means he will fit in very well with the other Indians left fielders, Aaron Cunningham (.175), Johnny Damon (.233) and Shelley Duncan (.225). He will most likely take the place of one of these players on the roster, which is too bad because then the Indians won’t be able to brag about having four left fielders on the roster who are all batting under .250. At least we won’t have to watch Cunningham look like a fool at the plate anymore. Now we can watch Lillibridge.
Overall I give this trade an A+, because they got a Major League outfielder for a minor league relief pitcher that will most certainly never pan out. A real positive to this trade, Lillibridge should be a boost defensively as he has only made one career error in 107 games in the outfield. He is also capable of playing first, second, third and shortstop, although he is not quite as proficient at those positions.