ESPN is confirming that Casey Blake has been traded to the Dodgers, with cash, in exchange for two minor leaguers-
The Indians received minor league catcher Carlos Santana and right-handed pitcher Jon Meloan. Santana is hitting .323, with 14 homers, for Inland Empire, in the Class A California League. The hard-throwing Meloan is 5-10, with a 4.97 ERA, at Triple-A Las Vegas — but has piled up 335 strikeouts in only 262 innings in his minor league career.
The centerpiece of this deal should should be Santana. Meloan is at AAA, and may even get a look on the big club, but the Indians needed a top catching prospect. The Indians would like for Martinez to eventually make the transition to first base, and as witnessed by the Sal Fasano signing, the cupboard is rather bare at catcher.
We have come to the end of the Blake era in Cleveland. As much as we have complained and joked about Blake since his arrival, he has been a rock wherever the Indians needed him. I wrote this a couple weeks ago about Casey-
Casey Blake has never been part of the Indians long term plans, and yet he has been here since 2003. As prospects (Broussard, Phillips, Gerut, Michaels, Marte) and has beens (Lawton, Boone, Gonzalez, Hollandsworth) have come and gone, Casey Blake has always been here playing whatever role the Indians needed. He is incredibly consistent, but he is not a star or a power hitter. That is what conventional wisdom tells you is needed at 3B, 1B or the corner outfield positions. Casey is not a Gold Glove winner, though his defense has not been terrible. Nobody works harder on the team at defense than Casey Blake. Casey is also very durable, having spent only 30 days in his 5+ years here on the DL.
My wife and I gave Casey a nickname probably the first time we went to an Indians game together. We called him Death. As in inning killer. Blake had a knack for getting out in key spots whenever we were watching the game. He certainly did nothing to deserve the nickname this year, as he was our best hitter with men in scoring position, but the name was already attached to him. So my family bids adieu to Casey Blake. Death, we will miss you. Your hustle and unselfish, team first attitude are an inspiration. Good luck.