Well, that didn't take long! Chris Antonetti's intelligence is officially in question. He just traded for a AAAA outfielder who is, BTW, out of options meaning he has to remain on the team all year. This trade definitely cost the Indians one viable relief prospect and is likely to cost him a second one.
Aaron Cunningham is the outfielder acquired and here are his stats
He hit .178 last year. He is a career .231 hitter in the majors. He has 270 games in AAA and has been with 4 organizations. That is almost the exact definition of a AAAA player. He is MUCH worse for this team than Shelly Duncan, with whom he would be competing for playing time. He has no speed, no power, doesn't walk much, is not a good defender and is mostly a left fielder in the majors and the minors. If I read the numbers right, he is out of options meaning that we have to pass him through waivers to even get him to the minors and the icing on the cake is, if I understand this correctly, he also becomes a 6-year minor league free agent if we ever put him on and he clears waivers, meaning he can walk without us getting anything. So, unless we keep him in the majors for the rest of his career, which is unlikely based on his stats and history, we will probably lose him for nothing.
Now, here is what we lost:
We traded Cory Burns, a possible middle reliever here as early as this year and had to DFA Josh Judy, a guy who was likely to make this team this year as an inexpensive middle reliever with good upside and who can now be picked up on waivers. At the same time we kept Shelly Duncan on this roster and didn't DFA Thomas Neal who is redundant with Cunningham, was hurt most of last year, is a questionable prospect now and who would most likely have passed through waivers more easily.than Judy.
You have to ask yourself these questions about this trade:
1. Why did Cunningham cost more in prospects than Derek Lowe did?
2. Why did we trade for a fringe guy who is redundant to what we already have in the majors and minors, is not likely to make our team out of spring training, is out of options and can walk as a 6-year minor league free agent if he clears waivers, which he will have to do if we try to send him to the minors?
3. Why dump Josh Judy, a viable relief prospect, from your roster instead of Thomas Neal, who is redundant to Cunningham?
4. What does Cunningham add, given his lack of skill and the fact that he will actually compete with Shelly Duncan for playing time?
5. Could the Indians have really rated Burns and Judy so low that they would be willing to make a trade for a AAAA outifielder knowing that it is likely to cost them BOTH of these pitching prospects?
6. Why give away your two best pitching prospects in Pomeranz and White to get 2 1/2 years of Ubaldo Jimenez if this is the type of player you will back him up with? So far it appears we have added Lowe, Cunningham/ Felix Pie and Jose Lopez this winter and re-signed Sizemore.
This is the type of move that really makes me over-the-top angry. What elevates that to an even higher level is the absolutely ridiculous rationalizations going on on various Indians' forums as pro-FO forumites try to spin an absolutely stupid trade by dissing the guys we give up and totally ignoring the circumstances that make this trade stupidly ridiculous from a logistical level (competition with Duncan, lack of definable skill that has Cunningham helping us next year, the fact that Cunningham is out of options and is probably a guy who could walk as a 6-year minor league free agent).
Wake up, Cleveland and smell the coffee. This move was stupid, we lost viable prospects for a AAAA outfielder with not one average tool and really puts into question Antonetti's intelligence.
12/19: Now I read on MLB Trade Rumors that the Indians are in serious negotiations with outfielder Mike Cameron. How stupid would the above trade look if we got Cameron and, as a result, Cunningham became redundant and we lost him next spring and we lost Judy in addition to already losing Burns!?!?!?!
12/19 (2) : Cameron to sign with Washington on a minor league deal. Interesting. We'll see what else the Indians do.