July 26, 2014

MLB Rumors: Indians could be “center of trade activity” at GM meetings

With a handful of quality position players and a starting rotation in shambles, the Cleveland Indians could find themselves at the center of trade talks during the off-season general manager meetings.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Indians, represented by Chris Antonetti, have already begun receiving phone calls on four key players: Justin Masterson, Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera and Chris Perez. In response, Antonetti far from slammed the door on any potential firesale:

“I’m not looking to move those guys,” Antonetti said. “But we have to be open-minded.”

Heyman lists the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the big-market New York Yankess among potential suitors for Choo; the Los Angeles Angels would “make sense” for Perez; the Red Sox and Tigers being among the teams interested in Cabrera, though Heyman does state that the shortstop would be tough to trade due to the drop-off to the recently acquired Mike Aviles.

The Indians, needing an outfielder, a starting pitcher and a first baseman, were also the subject of a recent piece by ESPN’s Buster Olney stating that the offloading of these key players would be a recommended move for the future.

[Related: Face Transplants, Rebuilds, and the Case for Trading Asdrubal Cabrera]

  • Kildawg

    I think of the four named, only Masterson isn’t trade-able at this time mostly due to needing SP to begin with. We can address OF by signing Melky Cabrera (which would make it easier to move Choo). Perez should be the easiest of the four to move, after A. Cabrera anyway.

  • AlexMathews

    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you trade with the Tigers, unless you’re getting some kind of star in return.

  • mgbode

    that is nonsense. you only trade with the Tigers if you are sure you are winning the trade. even if it’s a small one.

    i’ll give them Lillibridge for any member of their 40man roster for instance :)

  • mgbode

    I don’t like trading Masterson because it feels like we’d be getting low value for him. Then, I go on the other side and see that his career numbers are closer to 2010/2012 than 2011 (unlike Ubaldo).

  • Natedawg86

    Perez would explode if he went to the yankees.

  • matt underwood

    did anyone see perez’s tweet last night about the election? He wrote something along the lines of how cool it would be to have a president named after a piece of baseball equipment – mitt.

    then some genius (wish i could give him his proper dues here) responded, ‘yeah, good thing they do not have you closing the polls b/c you would find some way to blow it.”

    it was awesome.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Here we go again… ironic that I heard so many “4 more years!” chants last night… that’s exactly what us Indians fans are hearing as we wait to be in contention again.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    You sure you want to take a chance on a ‘roid-less Melky?

  • nj0

    Drop off to Aviles? 1.8 WAR last year compared to Asdrubal’s 2.9. So we make up one win in trade and we’re ahead.

  • nj0

    Agree. Don’t trade low.

  • mgbode

    baseball-reference has him at 3.0WAR. Aviles is 2.0 there but it is almost entirely on his defense (I prefer using straight offensive WAR as the defensive metrics are all over the place – it would be 3.7 – 0.7 in favor of Asdrubal)

    also, Asdrubal has a longer history of success with 2 seasons over 4 WAR while Aviles had his best career year last season. so, a better chance Asdrubal continues.

  • architrance

    “The Indians, needing an outfielder, a starting pitcher and a first baseman…” are looking to also make even more holes in the outfield, in the rotation, in the bullpen and at short?

    Brilliant!

  • mgbode

    while Browns fans are still waiting for a HC to get a full 4 years at the helm

  • FearTheRoo

    Watching Choo go to the Pirates would be a slap in the face to Cleveland. Might as well trade Richardson to the Steelers while you’re at it.

  • Steve

    Nothing of the sort. Choo on the Pirates wouldn’t really hurt our chances to win the division (other than obviously missing a good player). And it’s not like Choo is going to re-sign there either. If the Pirates have the best bag of prospects (and they have both the upside pitchers and close-to-the-majors OF we desperately need) then deal with them.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    If they did, it would be to get prospects and rebuild, so it kind of is brilliant. It’s one of only two plans that has a chance to work. Either don’t trade our stud players and try to find good players at reasonable prices in free agency (this is highly unlikely), or scrap the current team and trade for prospects. I am tired of losing, but I think we’re looking at another rebuild, and I can’t say it’s the wrong choice given our current roster, the prices on the free agent market, our low payroll, and our lack of talent in the farm system.

    Frankly, baseball has already dropped to being my third favorite professional sport… it’s in danger of dropping off the list entirely.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think he means purely from an “I hate Pittsburgh” perspective. As for me, I don’t feel that way about the city of Pittsburgh, just about the Steelers and their fans. The Pirates have been losers for so long, I have a hard time hating them.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I can’t imagine a team buying high on Masterson he’s never lived up to the hype and is far to inconsistent.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Of course we all know this means nothing will happen after all the same people are in place that helped created the mess.

  • architrance

    Obviously. And as always, it’s a gamble. I just don’t have much faith that they are going to find the “right” prospects.

    Sadly baseball’s my #1. Not sure how long that will last…

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I don’t have an ounce of faith in that either. For whatever reason, the Indians always seem to get into deals thinking “oh wait, you’re going to give me an Acura for my Hyundai?” The prospects’ stats are great and they fill a huge need for the team. And it always turns out that the Acura has engine problems and we probably would have been better off trading for the Honda instead. It just feels like it’s been a long time since you can look at a meaningful trade that the Indians front office made and say, “Cleveland definitely won in that trade.”

  • mgbode

    realize the same fans that root for the Bucs generally also root for the Penguins and Steelers and you will have an easier time with it.

  • mgbode

    Never? I could certainly live with his 2011 every year.
    216IP
    3.21ERA (3.28 FIP – right in line)
    3:1 SO:BB
    .302BABIP (so it’s not like he was getting lucky)
    4.7 WAR

  • mgbode

    I would just like someone to point out to me a single good move that Antonetti has made as GM. I want something to be able to point towards.

  • ch

    Whenever I think of the Indians I image playing a baseball game video game where the Indians start out at like a 72 overall. Yet after 1 draft, resigning our good players, and adding some older ones it takes you somewhere in the 80′s which on paper seems like enough.
    Gosh.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think the thing I hate most about the Steelers (and the Pens) is that so many of their fans are bandwagon jumpers. As I’ve mentioned before, I live in Richmond, VA and yes most people around here are Redskins fans, but the second most would be Steelers fans. Why is that? There’s no logical reason for there to be more Steelers fans here than Browns fans or Eagles fans or Ravens fans. However, they fill the bars and require ten of the TVs to be on the Steelers game versus one or two for the Browns, and then they act like they have some BS tie to the team. “My favorite uncle is from Pittsburgh.” “I identify with them because I’m a blue collar guy.” “I love the classic look of their uniform.” Garbage. I don’t have any respect for bandwagon jumpers. But with the Pirates, I know those fans are truly loyal fans because that team has sucked something awful for many years. They might also like the Steelers and Pens, but I can live with that.

  • mgbode

    it is true that the few diehard Pirate fans are likely the same people who were (or would have been) fans of the Steelers during their first 39years of irrelevant existance (1 playoff game, 0 wins)

  • Steve

    Yeah, I figured it out after I posted. I really don’t care about the Pirates success enough to not trade with them, especially considering they have exactly the type of guys we should be targeting.

    I feel the same way about Pittsburgh fans. I only care about the success of my team, and the Steelers are the only team from that city that stand in the way of that success.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Just basically said the same thing all I can think of last year was signing Esmil Rogers. I think that was just Antonetti getting lucky though because Rogers was horrible in Colorado. Maybe the Rockies felt guilty over Ubaldo, lol.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The exception and not the norm I’m afraid. I’m not a Masterson fan I’ve always felt he’s been overhyped here for me he’s a bullpen pitcher not starter certainly not a #1 or #2. Not only that I don’t like his demeanor he’s entirely to easy going, nice, ho hum but that’s my personal feeling. Maybe being reuinted with Francona will make a difference.

  • mgbode

    oh, I agree it doesn’t look to be the norm (I do think he’s a starter regardless). his 2011 looks to be the outlier. i hope he proves that wrong, but we will see.

    however, for 216IP, he certainly lived up to the hype.

  • mgbode

    Antonetti, we will always have Pari…umm…Esmil Rogers.

    (except you just shipped him to Toronto!!!!)