August 15, 2014

Indians not looking to trade Stubbs or Brantley

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets this morning that the Indians plan to use Bourn, Stubbs and Brantley. This is a bit of a reversal from last night when Heyman thought the Indians might look to trade either Stubbs or Brantley-

“#indians plan is for swisher to play 1B (& some OF), reynolds to DH (& some 1B/3B). not “looking to move” stubbs/brantley”

Bourn, Stubbs and Brantley have all spent a big part of their MLB careers in centerfield. There was reason to believe that the Indians might try to move Stubbs, who is the youngest and probably the odd man out when Swisher plays the outfield. Stubbs was part of the trade that brought Trevor Bauer from the Reds in exchange for Shin Soo Choo.

The Indians will instead go with a platoon of sorts in the outfield, with Swisher playing some first base and potentially some DH as well. As has been written, the signing gives manager Terry Francona tremendous flexibility with his line-up.

Things could of course change if the team struggles out of the gate. Bourn’s contract is team friendly at $7 million for the first season.

[Related: Miguel Montero on Trevor Bauer: “Good Luck to Carlos Santana”]

  • FearTheRoo

    Brantley is one of our best players. Doesn’t make sense to get rid of him…

  • Slooz

    That’s going to be one helluva defensive outfield.

  • maxfnmloans

    normally it takes half a fifth of scotch for me to feel as good about the tribe as I do right now.

  • Woods

    Bourne will most likely be a 1 year rental…assuming he doesn’t get injured. Good God that would be awful.

    Moving him next year to another team will bring prospects and will help the acquiring team keep THIS years first round pick in the draft while the Indians only have to give up a third round pick in this years draft.

    The front office has done a nice job of exploiting the new collective bargaining agreement to their benefit.

    Can they sign another free agent, give up their fourth round pick and then flip them in a trade?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cb.everett.9 CB Everett

    Makes sense to slot Swisher at 1B. We should have good speed, D, and OBS from our OFs. Wouldn’t look to trade anyone of those guys. That said, I still wouldn’t be shocked to see SOMEONE moved (be it Cabrerra or Perez) to get some help with the rotation. In both cases, we have capable fall backs in Aviles and Pestano.

  • Steve

    Don’t like the idea of moving Reynolds around. He begged off DH last year, and worked hard to come around and be a decent defensive 1B. He should be at 3B only in desperate circumstances. I don’t like the idea of messing around with a guy who showed so much improvement by focusing his effort as Reynolds did.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Maybe it’s the negative side of me coming through, but I think this won’t be a factor for long… somebody is going to hit the DL for a long spell and Reynolds will be back at 1B regularly. I just hope that Reynolds is a team player and is happy with spot duty at 1B until that happens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cb.everett.9 CB Everett

    Agree that 1B is his best spot. I do think they plan on playing Swisher there the majority of the time though…so he may have to deal with DH to get his ABs. I suspect he will get some starts at 3B against LHSPs.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    our best player, imo.

  • mgbode

    could he be a 1 year rental? sure. but, most likely?

  • Steve

    Good and trending up, but he’s not quite Kipnis or Santana.

  • Steve

    Sure, if guys are filling in because of injuries, then do what you need to do. And I’m fine with Reynolds bouncing back and forth between 1B and DH a bit. But I think its very likely he ends up a better defensive 1B than Swisher, and should be there regularly.

  • mgbode

    Brantley did hit better than Kipnis last year. Not Santana after his late-season surge though. Defensively, Brantley is the best of the three. Kipnis is the best on the basepaths.

    I like that we can discuss 3 promising players.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    yes. this is simple personal preference with a twinge of ‘brantley the forgotten young star with upward trajectory.’ i like kipnis and santana a lot too.

  • Woods

    Mgbode – you are correct. I should not have written my comment that way. The way that the contract is structured from a financial standpoint is what struck me as a bit strange.

    Year 1 – 7 million
    Year 2 – 13.5 million
    Year 3 – 13.5 million
    Year 4 – 14 million
    Year 5 – 12 million (vesting option)

    To sign Bourn the Indians gave up a 3rd round pick since they gave up their second round pick to sign Swisher. Any other team outside of the top 10 of this years draft would have to give up a first round pick.

    Bourn is represented by Scott Boras. (The Indians just signed a Scott Boras client in free agency!!!)

    I am thrilled that Bourn is now on the team, but I think that there is a strong possibility that he will be moved before years 2-4 are to be paid. The deal is a win/win if they can sign him for one year at 7million and flip him for prospects at a later date.

  • mgbode

    Swisher’s is similar. Both are reportedly done so in order to take advantage of the various television deals that will start vesting at the beginning of next season.

  • DCTribeFan

    Tribe structured it that way to accomodate a new flow of TV money next year. It works for Bourn since the market dried up on him and the METS were fiddling with a grievance over losing their #11 pick. WIN-WIN!
    And, how many times do ya think Boras dropped the word “Lohse” as they worked out the Bourn deal? I’m guessing north of 50x.

  • Woods

    Mgbode and DCTribeFan – good point about the timing of the TV renenue. I keep thinking about the Marlins signing a bunch of big free agency contracts where the first year is at a reduced rate and then dumping them all after that reduced rate year for prospects.

    The first round draft pick surrendered for signing free agents is probably a large factor as well.

  • Woods

    Mgbode and DCTribeFan – good point about the timing of the TV renenue. I keep thinking about the Marlins signing a bunch of big free agency contracts where the first year is at a reduced rate and then dumping them all after that reduced rate year for prospects.

    The first round draft pick surrendered for signing free agents is probably a large factor as well.

  • Woods

    I bet you that you are correct about Boras.

    If Lohse doesn’t sign in the next two weeks it will be the Indians calling Boras and offering a 3 year 25million dollar deal at 5/10/10

    It is good to see the front office exploit the collective bargaining agreement to their advantage.

  • mgbode

    there is no way Lohse would sign that deal.

    however, given that it would be a low round pick the Indians are giving up now, it is possible that we would be the favorite to land him on a 1 year deal.

  • Woods

    I probably should have put another qualifier on my statement like “I have no idea what the correct dollar amount would be, but if it was a three year deal, it would very likely be structured 20%|40%|40%.

  • mgbode

    no, i’m mostly saying that Lohse would probably love to sign a 1year deal because then next offseason he wouldn’t have a draft pick compensation dragging his value down.

    honestly, Boras could just tell him to sit out the entire season and he’d likely get a big deal next November. The only issue is he’s 34yo and losing years at this point.

  • Steve

    Because there is little else to do but quibble over the finer points of this lineup, I’ll take Kipnis in the field. Better compared to his position than Brantley was, and 2B is a tick ahead of CF on the defensive spectrum.

  • architrance

    GOOOD.

  • SDA

    I’m out wanna share!