As of 4PM eastern time on Saturday July 31st the Major League Baseball trade deadline passed, and with it’s passing the Indians were looking at a stellar list of trades. Coming into the 2010 season all Indians fans knew that the team was in for a long year. During a year like this the fans, as well as the team, has a long list of changes they would like to see made. This year those changes were in the form of trades, and while the returns on those trades are unclear as of yet, the fans and organization were able to say good bye to a mistake, Kerry Wood, a flamed out infielder, Jhonny Peralta. As well as a fan favorite, Jake Westbrook and a pleasant surprise in Austin Kearns. The team also was able to rid themselves of a very strange off-season signing a few weeks ago with the trade of Russell Branyan.
The Indians and the fans can largely view the July trading season as a success based purely off of who the team was able to move, and while we will all surely miss Jake Westbrook, Austin Kearns and Jhonny Peralta the Indians will most likely be better offnow that those players are playing elsewhere. One thing that alarms me is that while the team was proactive in seeking moves, the Tribe front office was not able to make tremendously beneficial moves as they appear now. The Yankees were the big training partner as they worked out deals with the Indians for both Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood. Both of these moves leave the Indians with question marks as they are for the un-popular player to be named later – or cash. Mark Shapiro has always been a fan of PTBNL deals as it gives him and the scouts a chance to learn more about who they could potentially receive. So only time will tell what these two trades really can provide for the team.
Trading Jale Westbrook certainly comes as no surprise, but it is yet again a tough pill to swallow as another fan favorite, class act, is leaving Cleveland. The Westbrook to St. Louis deal required a third team to be completed, the San Diego Padres. The Padres were looking for a bat, and the Cardinals obliged them by sending former Indian Ryan Ludwick there way, while receiving Westbrook and a low level prospect. Westbrook also allowed his pay bup o 2 million if traded to be largely erased to facilitate the deal and help the Indians out. The Indians were given a AA pitcher from the Padres system Corey Kluber. A big righty who projects as a back of the rotation starter. The 6’4″ right is having a strong season at AA that has put his map to the big leagues back on track. At 24 years old however, there is no telling how he will pan out. I was originally under the impression the Indians would be getting a player from St. Louis but the Cardinals are just sending cash considerations to the Tribe.
As we are all well aware, Jhonny Peralta made a major impact on his new team last night smashing two home runs for the rival Detroit Tigers. Young prospect Giovanni Soto was received for Peralta, but much like every trade the Indians make, the deal really has almost no impact to the team now.
The team will probably not make any more moves before the August 31st waiver trade deadline, but there really is nothing that would shock me. As for the past week, the book will be out on that for a while as we cannot really judge the deals until the team receives the PTBNL prospects from the Yankees and we get more time to look at Soto and Kluber. There is no surprise that who the team did receive are a pair of young pitchers.
I have a few strong ideas about how the Indians seem to be run at this point in time, and I think it has a lot to do with the frustration of seeing the team continuously lose and trade away my favorite members of the team. Seeing CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Jake Westbrook and even Jhonny Peralta traded within the last 3 seasons has been very upsetting. All we can do is sit here and hope that all of the trades pan out. The verdict is still out on them, and quite frankly, will be until all of the guys who we received either come up to the majors or don’t. But I will definitely have more soon on how I think the team needs to re-tool their thinking about trades, signings and various other issues.