Indians Trade Talk

There has been some trade talk in recent days involving the Indians, especially considering extra starting pitching. There have been no articles predicting the many moves Cleveland will make before the deadline on Burning River Baseball to this point, however, for one simple reason: the Indians shouldn't trade anybody before the deadline. With the starting rotation finally healthy and back to what it was supposed to be before the season started (with Corey Kluber instead of Brett Myers), there really is no need for another starting pitcher. The fact is there is no one on the market (not even Matt Garza) who is better than Danny Salazar, meaning that if the Indians need another starter, they can just bring one up from AAA.

Even if the Indians did add another pitcher, it is questionable where he would fit. Scott Kazmir has been very impressive through his last six starts and there will be no replacing Kluber, Justin Masterson or Ubaldo Jimenez. Zach McAllister is finally returning from the DL, so he will likely be given a little slack even if he struggles at the beginning. If the Indians could pick up a starter the quality of Chris Sale, then it would be worth disrupting what has been a very solid rotation, but there is no one anywhere near that level available on the trade market.

The offense is much weaker than the pitching staff at this point, but even here a trade would be questionable. More so for deadline deals than offseason trades, the value heavily favors the sellers as teams will trade high ranking prospects for a couple months of help from a single player. Right now that option shouldn't look too attractive for the Tribe.

There may be one good looking trade option available for the Indians, but it won't be a blockbuster that makes the fans go crazy. The Indians are incredibly loaded at the middle infield position at the upper levels of the minor league system. Between Akron and Columbus, the Indians have Cord Phelps, Juan Diaz, Matt Lawson, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Ronny Rodriguez and Giovanny Urshela who are all considered Major League prospects. This doesn't even include two of the most talented middle infielders in the system, Joe Wendle and Dorssys Paulino who are still below AA. Having this many talented young stars is actually becoming a detriment as they are having difficulty splitting playing time since most of them are currently in Akron. Since Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis seem entrenched in their positions for at least the next few seasons, it seems it would be safe for the Indians to do a little thinning out at the upper levels. 

Phelps and Diaz are both Major League proven and could fetch a prospect or utility player (to possibly replace Jason Giambi). Lindor, Wendle and Paulino should all be considered untouchable, but the rest of the players listed could be made available and some combination of them may be enough to bring in a new left handed reliever or pinch hitter.

The Indians actually have a pretty well rounded team (despite what you may hear from the national media if they ever were to mention Cleveland) and don't have to look outside the organization to continue to compete for the Central Division title. Chris Antonetti should feel under no pressure to make a move (like he has had in recent seasons) and the rewards better be great if any trade is completed before the July 31st deadline.

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona.

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