In order to make room for the new comers to the Indians’ 25 man roster, like Nyjer Morgan and Scott Atchison, the Indians were forced to pull a couple players off the 40 man roster and expose them to waivers. During this process, both Colt Hynes and Preston Guilmet were claimed and traded this past week. Both Hynes and Guilmet were given Major League invites to Spring Training, but neither really had a chance to make the team without an injury to an expected starter. There ended up being only one surprise (Atchison) in the final bullpen, so there was no room for either of the two minor leaguers.
Hynes originally came from San Diego last fall when he was claimed off waivers. Last season he pitched 17 innings allowing 17 runs for the Padres and wasn’t much better this Spring, allowing 7 runs in 5.2 innings. As a left handed reliever, he was behind a minimum of five other players (Marc Rzepczynski, Josh Outman, Nick Hagadone, Scott Barnes and Travis Banwart) in the depth chart, so it was fairly safe to take him off the 40 man roster. He was traded to the Dodgers for an interesting young starter named Dalton Duke von Schamann.
Von Schamann is currently in AA and will turn 23 in June. He was initially a 15th round draft pick in 2012 by the Dodgers out of Texas Tech. Last season in AA Chatanooga he held a 5.00 ERA in 66.2 innings while striking out 50. Already this year he has made one start and pitched a seven inning shut out in his debut. He will likely stay at that level with Cleveland and join the Rubber Ducks rotation, helping give depth to what is an overall organizational weakness. Even though he is a long shot to ever make a difference at the Major League level, he will be able to eat up innings and could eventually get a shot in the bullpen. Don’t wait around for him however, as just because the Indians don’t have a lot of pitching depth throughout the minors doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot up top. There are a lot of great arms currently in AAA, like Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin, and even AA, like Cody Anderson, who will get chances years before von Schamann.
The more significant deal from the Indians perspective was the trade sending Preston Guilmet to the Orioles for Torsten Boss. Guilmet has been the top closer in the Indians farm system for the last three years and overall has posted a 2.57 ERA with 90 career saves. He made a brief appearance in the Tribe bullpen in 2013 and struggled, but was decent this Spring, allowing just seven base runners in 4.1 innings. He is 26 years old and just about ready to contribute at the Major League level, so trading him while keeping other players, like Barnes and Bryan Price on the 40 man roster is a little confusing.
Receiving Boss in the deal is also a little odd for the Tribe. Boss is an infielder who has spent most of his time at second or third base. These areas are an organizational strength at every level, so adding a mediocre player into the mix will only take at bats from talented young players like Erik Gonzalez, Joe Sever and Yhoxian Medina. There is little questioning that Boss is more than a mediocre players as he comes in as a 23 year old still in Advanced A ball, carrying a line of .245/.343/.378. He is not a power hitter, although he did have a nice 2013 campaign with seven home runs and 45 RBI, and not a particularly solid defensive third baseman, so it is questionable what he will actually bring to the Mudcats.
Most likely the reasoning for both these trades was to at least get something out of losing two high level minor league relievers. If the Indians had wanted to keep either around, they could have worked it out, but they obviously had seen enough. By designating the players for assignment, both were sure to get picked up elsewhere and at least this way, there were a couple other players brought in. It is very possible that both Hynes and Guilmet were simply good minor league players that don’t have what it takes to make the transition to the Majors. We will likely find out soon enough as it is unlikely the Orioles will go long before adding Preston into the mix.