Well, we stood pat at the deadline, sort of. I applaud the non-effort by the Indians. The only people they have given up are Steven Wright and Derek Lowe, neither of whom were likely to factor into 2013.
The trade of Wright to Boston for Lars Anderson was a strange one. Wright was once a top draft choice but couldn't shake the injury and lack of performance bug. He was still in the Indians' organization because he became a gimmick (i.e., knuckleball) pitcher. He was prospect depth. Anderson, on the other hand, was a falling star, a top prospect turned prospect depth. This is the kind of nothing trade where you think one team (the Indians) got a guy with an outside chance of resurrecting his career while the other team (Boston) got a smoke and mirrors guy. Sometimes, those are the kind of trades that bite you in the rear end. Time will tell but my guess is that the best we can hope for here is a nothing trade.
Besides that little trade all we got was the DFA of Lowe. He has flamed out in the second half of the season and his trade value is only a shade better than that of Aaron Cunningham and that difference is only because Lowe is a pitcher who has had some success. Unlike the Indians, I would have put Lowe in the bullpen about a week ago to try to find a way to up his worth in anticipation of a deadline or August deal. Let's hope the Indians can get something for him but it was time for him to not start any more games in Cleveland.
So, the Indians stood pat, which was good, but now it is time to make some moves. With the season being over here is what we should do:
Jose Lopez gone, Jason Donald called up - Look, Donald has a whole bunch of AAA at bats. Lopez may bring us a couple of bucks or a "C" prospect back. Remember, Austin Kearns got us Zach McAllister.
Jack Hanahan gone, Jared Goedert called up - You know your season is done when you are getting rid of Hannahan's stellar defense for a shot in the dark with Goedert. But, what the heck. Hannahan is showing his sub-.250 career average and his defense, in a rebuilding last two months, is not needed. Jared may go the way of his of his anagram Jerad (Head, that is) but at least he deserves that shot. Hannahan might actually net us something as his defense might be what an NL contender needs down the stretch. It seems the small guys net the biggest % net return in these July/August deals.
Casey Kotchman gone, Matt LaPorta called up. Yes, now we have NO defense at the corners of the infield but Kotchman is showing us why 2011 was a fluke. The best that we can hope for is that we get someone to pay the rest of Kotchman's salary and that LaPorta suddenly finds himself. But you play guys like LaPorta when the season goes south like this one has.
Accardo gone, Rafael Perez up. Yes, I know this depends on Perez's health but it is time we see the last of Accardo. Yeah, he has pitched decently but, in rebuilding two months, you don't need the Accardos of the world.
Shelly Duncan gone, Tim Fedroff up. Again, maybe Fedroff is nothing but he is at least up here.
Johnny Damon gone, Chun-Hsui Chen called up. I give this guy a look. Maybe you catch lightning in a bottle and you find he can actually skip AAA (or most of it) and give you some offense here early next year if not on opening day.
Travis Hafner gone, Zeke Carrera up. This balances the OF with Chen replacing Damon. Look, Hafner gets you a "C" prospect if you are willing to eat his salary. If not, maybe you get a little salary relief as the team he goes to picks up $1-2 million. I eat the salary and get the prospect.
So, what do you expect to get for this fringe talent? Probably not much. Unfortunately it might be hard to bundle these guys but, if you could, I would as it might get us better prospects in return.
I don't care how many games we lose the rest of the season. Neither does most of Cleveland as the attendance sucks here, win or lose. Maybe Chen, Fedroff, Carrera, Raffy Perez, Goedert, LaPorta and Donald contribute zero in 2013. If so, they won't do any worse than the guys we trade/release to give them playing time right now.
OK, Indians, NOW is the time to make some moves. Moves toward next season, that is. Get guys some needed experience, clear out some dead wood, give yourself a little salary relief, start planning for next season because you can stick a fork in 2012 and it will come out clearn as a whistle.