Goodbye Death…

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.

  • draftnik

    Please, Andy, PLEASE do something with your opportunity.

  • I’m Ron Burgundy?

    Important – who will fill the role of the Beard?

    Maybe Pronk (who?!) will grow one for hairiness’ sake

  • Pat18970

    “as witnessed by the Sal Fassnao signing, the cupboard is rather bare at catcher.”

    Hey, show a little respect! Sal leads the Indians in hitting with a .300 average. And its F-A-S-A-N-O.

    Not surprised, but sorry to see Casey go. Looks like a pretty good deal for the Indians getting Santana.

    Too bad the Indians couldn’t trade divisions with the Dodgers. They’d only be 6 games back.

  • Rick

    Thanks Pat…I’ll be sure to send you the Fasano fan club President’s pack

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  • Matt from Lyndhurst

    I was just thinking yesterday that with 1 week left before the deadline, that maybe the Indians were rethinking their intentions with Blake. Guess not. Goodbye Casey, you will be missed. Another regular mainstay traded away. Shame….

  • Amar Panchmatia

    Excellent analysis on Santana…when I saw his numbers and age, I was thinking the SAME EXACT THING! This team is going to be an eyesore for the rest of the season – an absolute eyesore – but I’m one of those junkies who looks forward to September callups and follows the minor league farm systems, so keeping an eye on Santana is going to be fun for a dork like me.

  • LaundroMat

    I am sad about this.

  • McFad

    My family and I dubbed him the Crimson Chin after his rather large one and after the cartoon character.

  • Jeremy Coyle

    Who’s going next? I’m thinking Paul Byrd or Aaron Laffey.

  • Rick

    No sense in trading Laffey…this is his second year of major league service, he isn’t even arbitration eligible after this year. Laffey is going to be a part of the rotation next year for certain.

    Byrd very easily could be traded, if anyone wanted him. I really doubt that the Indians have turned down offers for him.

  • patrick eaton

    this is the happiest day of my tribe cheering life…AND we even got more than an ice cream cone for him!!!! tears of absolute joy on my end…good luck being at best an average player elsewhere casey..u will not be missed

  • FilteringCraig

    Funny that you nicknamed him death, because my friends and I nicknamed him baseball Jesus. He can play any position, he is humble, he has an awesome beard, and he seems like a heck of a guy to have in the clubhouse.

    I guess the metaphor is complete because I now know who would have crucified him. (you.) :-)

    I hope Casey Blake comes back next year to spell Indians’ starters at 3b, OF, and 1B. Get rid of Dellucci and Blake is the perfect pinch hitter / part timer as he ages toward 40. Of course, this means that the Indians need to find starters at 3B and OF.

  • Gabriel

    LaPorta and Santana in the minors, reportedly ready to come up in the near future… hmm… sadly, i think most of us will be paying more attention to the indians’ minor league teams than we will be to the actual Indians for the rest of the season.

  • Rick

    No doubt Gabriel…except that LaPorta will be playing in the Olympics…there are still plenty of reasons to watch the big club though…

    Will Carmona, Martinez and Hafner come back from injury to the level they are capable of? What will Marte do with his chance to play everyday? Will Francisco or Choo establish themselves as starters for next year? What in the world is wrong with Ryan Garko? Can Laffey make adjustments and become a #3 starter?

  • cathy

    I’ll miss him. My nickname for him was the browny man (yes after the paper towel) Yes he was frustrating at times, but i think he also pulled a few out of his you know what to get some hits. I live in florida and next week will be my first Indians game of the season, i’m affriad i won’t know who to route for becuase i won’t know who they are!! Good bye casey, i’ll miss seeing your #1 jersey.

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