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.
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.