Well we’ve certainly had quite an interesting 48 hours or so as fans of the Cleveland Indians. We all begged and pleaded that they make a splash and go for it at the trade deadline. Well, they sure did go for it. I think… maybe?
There was growing speculation that the Indians would do everything in their power over the weekend to acquire another bat, preferably one that could hit for power from the right side of the plate. Therefore, it made perfect sense that their big move for the July 31 trade deadline was to acquire Colorado Rockies ace, Ubaldo Jimenez.
This is the second time in less than a week I’ve had this reaction to a move the Indians have made. Jimenez has shown he can be a front line starter for almost any rotation in Major League Baseball, but to make that move when what you really need is offense is just confusing. Throw in the fact that the Rockies essentially pilfered all of the Indians top pitching prospects and this could certainly make for one hell of a lopsided trade come 3 years from now.
To make matters worse, or maybe better, I’m not really sure at this point, the Indians also traded away veteran infielder Orlando Cabrera to the San Francisco Giants for injured Triple A outfielder Thomas Neal. Yes, Cabrera is in his mid 30’s, was showing signs of wear and tear, and was doing little to help this team offensively, but what he lacked in on the field skills he more than made up for with clubhouse leadership. He’s been there before and knows what it takes to succeed in October. Now that’s gone.
The trade of Cabrera does two things. First of all, it signals the official beginning of the Jason Kipnis era at second base. The job is his every day from here on out. Second, it get the Tribe younger and more flexible with the call up of utility man Jason Donald from Triple A. Whether or not Donald can provide anything in his first call up this year is anyone’s best guess, but it makes sense why he’s been chosen to replace Cabrera on the roster.
But back to the Jimenez trade…
In order to acquire the hard throwing righty, the Indians had to part with their two top pitching prospects in Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, as well as Joe Gardner and first baseman Matt McBride. That’s a steep price to pay for a pitcher that hasn’t been the same since the all-star break a year ago and who’s current team was oh so willing to give up on. His contract on the other hand is perfect for the Indians and their current market situation. They will have control of Jimenez over the next two years for a relatively cheap price. Regardless, it’s still a confusing move for a team that was deep with pitching and shallow on offense.
My dad has seen a lot of things in his time as a fan of Cleveland sports. He’s seen a few of the good things, all of the bad things, and the things that are just downright confusing. For him, and I’m sure a lot of people, the Indians moves over the past few days were confusing. Nothing more, nothing less.
Here’s some of what he had to say when I talked to him last night:
“I just don’t get what they’re doing. They have pitching, it’s hitting that’s been the problem.”
“That Dan O’Dowd used to work for the Indians. I’m pretty sure he just pulled a fast one over on Antonetti. Pomeranz and White for this guy? What were they thinking?
“All season long they’ve been talking about how great Cabrera has been with his leadership and presence in the clubhouse… and they trade him? For a guy that’s hurt? I don’t know what they’re doing.”
“Oh, they didn’t get Ludwick? That’s another thing. I don’t know what they’re doing. Everyone they were talking about getting they’ve already had. They had Ludwick and they had Coco Crisp when they were younger. That’s their answer is two guys they used to have and gave away?”
“I just don’t know what they’re doing… hopefully they do, but I have no clue.”
To sum it up… my dad doesn’t have any clue what the Indians are doing. Neither do I really. I mean, I sorta do, but not really. I guess they’d rather lose games 1-0 rather than 4-0. But hey, there’s always the waiver trade deadline coming up at the end of August. Maybe we’ll get lucky and someone will fall into our laps. Then again, come next Monday we might be out of this thing. This week the Indians have seven games against the Red Sox and Rangers. Good luck with that.