August 26, 2014

MLB Trade Rumors: Beltran To The Tribe? Gammons Says We Tried

Before last night’s 3-2 loss to the Angels, Tribe GM Chris Antonetti discussed his constant pursuit to improve his team before the July 31st trade deadline. The one thing Antonetti wants everyone to know – the Indians have been very active in talks with several teams, despite nothing happening as of yet.

“We try to be as exhaustive and creative as possible,” Antonetti said. “It would be difficult for me to see us trading a very select few of our best young players for a player that would only be here for two months.”

I agree with that philosophy. Unless the Indians are going to get someone of major impact, like a Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, who they would have under their control for a couple more years, it makes no sense to trade their top prospects Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Lonnie Chisenhall, or Jason Kipnis.

“Our preference would have been to do something a few weeks ago,” said Antonetti. “Again, we can’t dictate that timetable. Hopefully, over the next day or two some dominoes start to fall and that opens up the market.

One of the big dominoes is Mets OF Carlos Beltran. The switch-hitting stud is having a monster year and is a free agent at the end of the season. Making things tricky is the fact that he has a full no-trade clause and is represented by Scott Boras. For the last two months of the season, moving a bat like Beltran right into the middle of the Tribe order would change everything.

According to MLB.com’s Peter Gammons, Antonetti has tried hard to make that happen. The problem is, the love Antonetti and his staff has for the Indians appears not to be mutual.

Never mind that the Indians did offer to pick up all of Carlos Beltran’s remaining Mets contract and give up a good player in return. The deal Scott Boras negotiated with the Mets for Beltran includes a no-trade clause, which Boras refers to as a “ring clause,” meaning that if things ground to an end in New York, Beltran had the right to choose where best to go get a ring before entering the free-agent market, and Cleveland did not fit.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweeted something very similar regarding the Tribe and Beltran:

Sources: Indians walked away from their Beltran talks convinced that the player’s agent, Scott Boras, is controlling the process

That’s a real shame because Beltran would have been a perfect short-term fix for the offensively starved Tribe. The Tigers have the Victor Martinez/ Miguel Cabrera in the middle of their order. Even old friend Jhonny Peralta is having a career year. The Indians don’t have anything close to that. Throw in a true ace like Justin Verlander every fifth day and you’d have to say the Tigers are the favorite down the stretch.

It doesn’t mean the Indians are done since they have been turned away by evil Scott Boras. They will just be moving onto other options. After watching the offense over the past few weeks, I think we all know they can’t hang on and contend without adding a bat.

SI.com’s Jon Heyman says the Tribe is now eyeing an old friend.

Fresh off rebuffed attempt at beltran, Indians are in mix for Ryan Ludwick. good fit. decent defender, with pop.

It should be an interesting couple of says here in Wahooland.

  • bobby

    Ludwick isnt Beltran, but he could still provide a good boost for us. Remember, Cody Ross was the push for SF last season.

  • stin4u

    I’m not shocked or saddened by this in the least. I wasn’t hoping for a Beltran rental. With more and more holes showing up on this team I’d rather go get a middle of the road guy on the cheap than try to make a push (with Beltran) and give up a good prospect.

  • Boomhauertjs

    Wonder if this Beltran situation will effect the Tribe’s negotiations with Boras re: Choo?

  • oribiasi

    How long would Ludwig be ours, though?

  • http://www.whitecollarredneck.com Narm

    Picking up $9million is a sign ownership is serious about winning. We’re still 26th in attendance, so it isn’t like money is pouring in. Hopefully this builds a little good-will with the fans.

  • mgbode

    @bobby – and an aging Kenny Lofton was the push we needed in 2007

  • bobby

    Why arent tribe day games on tv by the way? this is pretty annoying.

  • http://www.morningjournal.com/content/articles/2011/01/31/sports/doc4d463b0cd062d819200129.jpg Return of the (Alex) Mack

    @ Bobby…. it is a blessing in disguise so far today

  • Mac

    Don’t sleep on B.J. Upton. I’ve heard that the Indians are in serious talks with the Rays. It wouldn’t suprise me to see us get Upton and Ludwick for the right price. Then the outfield would be Brantley in left, Upton in center, and Ludwick in right.

  • Painesville

    In other news, Delhomme is gone.

    //allegedly

  • Shamrock

    Not for Beltran or Ludwick but didn’t the Dolans or Shapiro say a few years ago that if the team was contending they would spend for a free agent?

  • http://www.whitecollarredneck.com Narm

    @Shamrock – They spent $20 million on Kerry Wood during the last round of contention. I would hope we go into this offseason looking to sign some guys long-term and add some decent talent (not top-level, but not Orlando Cabrera).

  • Clevo

    Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Ludwick is nothing to get excited about. He’s relatively cheap, old and not the future of the Indians, ie the type of player we always end up with. I think giving anything up for Beltran would be a mistake only because he is not the difference between winning and losing the WS now or in the immediate future since he’d be as good as gone at the end of the year. Rasmus or Upton or Pence (ideally, although he’s veritably untouchable) is what we should set out sights on.

  • Dee P

    I don’t think Ludwick is done by any means. I’m a Tribe fan living in St. Louis and he was a stud here. The Cardinals fans were livid when he was dealt last year, and he was never happy going to San Diego or playing there this year. Getting him out of that canyon of a stadium would certainly boost his confidence and “fun” level. He won’t be an MVP here, but definitely could go back to being the guy he was in St. Louis – and as a right-handed hitter – I would welcome that production with open arms.

  • jimkanicki

    hannahan sits, tribe loses. tribe has lost SEVENTEEN straight games in which jack hannahan sits.

    it’s quite amazing. but here’s his game log: http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/gamelog/_/id/28468/jack-hannahan

  • mgbode

    @jimkanicki – that is an awesome statistic.

    note: being serious. i love random quirk statistics. one of the reasons I love baseball.

  • Shamrock

    Narm – they signed him before the season no? It’s almost August and they are in contention, do something.

    Beltran going to SF but how about Jimenez possibly going to Yankees? Sheesh.

  • mgbode

    Ubaldo is most likely to go to the Reds if the reports are true.

    And Shamrock, what would you like us to do? The Tigers may very well end up with Betemit and Guthrie as their “haul”. Those moves actually could make them worse and ‘lose’ the division.

    I’d like to get Upton, Ludwick, or Willingham if the price is right, but we can’t just desperately make a move just to say we did.