Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Trading Post

Despite a nice stretch here by the Erie Warriors, it’s time to be realistic about their playoff shot and see what some of these young players (Marte, Garko, Gutierrez, Carmona in the closer role) can do at the Major League level. Here’s the players that could be classified as “On the Block” as their future with the Indians beyond 2006 is in question and they may be more useful to a team not playing in Jacobs Field over the last 3 months of the season:

Aaron Boone
Assuming that the Tribe can find a taker for Boone, they’ll probably move him (eventually) to make room for Andy Marte – most likely at the end of the month because of the way that Marte’s arbitration clock was started by logging 60 days in the Majors with Atlanta last year. The other option, if the Indians can’t get anything for Boone, is that Boone slides over to the Utility spot when (not if) Marte is promoted.

You would have to think that Boone has some value, particularly to some teams that have 3B that are (amazingly) underperforming Boone. The likely suitors would be the Padres (who are relying on Vinny Castilla and Geoff Blum) and the Dodgers (who are still missing Bill Mueller). Both locales would allow him to play closer to home, something that I would think Shapiro would factor into the equation.

Benny Broussard
With the Victor Martinez Experiment at 1B in full swing and Kelly Shoppach seeing some games behind the plate, the odd man out would be Broussard. The brief promotion of Ryan Garko foreshadowed the replacement plan for Broussard, whose value as a LH bat and decent 1B would have to be pretty high right now. His numbers thus far (.327/10 HR/38 RBI/.884 OPS) look attractive, particularly to a team in need of a LH bat off the bench or even in a 1B platoon situation.

Some possible destinations would include the Giants (with Lance Niekro struggling) and the Diamondbacks (with Tony Clark, their LH 1B REALLY struggling).

Wedge’s calling out of Broussard recently, the fact that he can go into arbitration again this off-season (how much do you want to pay a platoon player…he made $2.49M this year) and the need to look at Garko at the ML level would dictate that this one is likely to happen.

Jelly Belliard
Although (as we all know) there’s no viable alternative at 2B for today or tomorrow, Belliard is a FA at the end of the season and would be an attractive chip to some playoff contenders in need of a 2B. The Mets, Giants, Cardinals, and A’s would all be possible destinations as they could use Belliard’s production in the lineup for the stretch run.

I’d be more inclined to hang onto Belliard until the deadline; particularly with the way he has filled the 2 hole in Michaels’ absence (only to get bumped back to the 6 hole tonight). With so many teams looking for a 2B and the market not exactly saturated, Belliard might bring a nice return. I’m not sure if I can take 2 months of Joe Inglett (or Aaron Boone) at 2B, but if Belliard won’t be here next year (which IS NOT written in stone) and the playoffs are a pipe dream, this is the move you have to make.

Bob Wickman
Assuming that Wickman accepts a trade (he’s a 10-5 guy), his value would be pretty large on a trade market bereft of proven closers. Since most teams that have established closers still are in the playoff race, the list of available closers is short. Wickman could go somewhere to bolster a bullpen, with the Reds (newly acquired Eddie Guardado isn’t the answer as a closer) and the Cardinals being the 2 teams fighting for a playoff spot most in need of bullpen help.

Since almost every ML team could use another bullpen arm, Wickman (along with Belliard) would be the most sought after Indian. Like Belliard, this is a tough one as Wickman has established himself as the Indians career leader in saves and has developed a bit of a following. Like, Belliard, though this is a move you have to make.

Todd Hollandsworth
Hollandsworth is the type of 4th OF, spare part player that teams like to acquire to bolster their bench and pinch hitting depth for September and beyond. Since Hollandsworth doesn’t have a future in Cleveland and, because his recent play has helped his value, there may be a market out there for him.

Teams in the NL particularly, like the Mets, Rockies, Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Padres would benefit could all use a players like Hollandsworth. It certainly won’t be a blockbuster, but allowing Hollandsworth to block Frank the Tank would just be a disservice to the 2007 team.

Other guys that could be moved would be Guillermo Mota, Paul Byrd, and Jake Westbrook, but I think they’ll likely finish the year with the Tribe.

None of the players above would be considered “core” players and moving them wouldn’t affect the team too much for 2007 (or 2006 for that matter), but if the Tribe can get something in return (like getting AstroCab for Eduardo Perez) in their Rummage Sale – Let’s Make a Deal.

I've looked through the 2007 FA (which are very thin at our positions of need - 2B, 3B, Closer), but I'm going to wait until we get past the All-Star Break, at least, to make the rundown.

In case you haven’t seen, Pronk finished 3rd in the All-Star Voting, behind A.J. Pierzynski (who will be in Pittsburgh) and Francisco Liriano (who should be on the team outright ahead of Mark Redman).

All of this despite an usher named Roy in the Mezzanine scoring me a “Vote Pronk” button during the 19-1 joyride.

5 comments:

Cy Slapnicka said...

A few thoughts before I get back to my vacation...

1. "Both locales would allow him to play closer to home, something that I would think Shapiro would factor into the equation." What? Who cares? Why would him getting traded closer to home matter to anyone except him? We want a little value and Marte in the lineup. I don't care if he gets traded to Iraq, just get him out of here. If he lands on his old paper route in Cali, good for him and his playmate wife. If not, I hope he can find suitable accommodations with his $3+ mil salary.

2. Sending Wicky packing would be like putting your dog down. Its awful, tears your heart out, and you'd rather have someone else make the call, but it needs to be done. UNLESS he plans on coming back for one more year.

3. How cool would it be for 30,000 people to start chanting "Frank the tank, Frank the tank". Perhaps with Will Ferrell on the scoreboard? Why can't this happen? If they would announce this moment in advance I'd make the drive.

4. A.J. Pierzynski has received an "Exceeds" in Hatred for his mid-season performance review. I'd rather Pronk lose out to Ted Dibiachi and John Demjanjuk.

Cy Slapnicka said...

A few thoughts before I get back to my vacation...

1. "Both locales would allow him to play closer to home, something that I would think Shapiro would factor into the equation." What? Who cares? Why would him getting traded closer to home matter to anyone except him? We want a little value and Marte in the lineup. I don't care if he gets traded to Iraq, just get him out of here. If he lands on his old paper route in Cali, good for him and his playmate wife. If not, I hope he can find suitable accommodations with his $3+ mil salary.

2. Sending Wicky packing would be like putting your dog down. Its awful, tears your heart out, and you'd rather have someone else make the call, but it needs to be done. UNLESS he plans on coming back for one more year.

3. How cool would it be for 30,000 people to start chanting "Frank the tank, Frank the tank". Perhaps with Will Ferrell on the scoreboard? Why can't this happen? If they would announce this moment in advance I'd make the drive.

4. A.J. Pierzynski has received an "Exceeds" in Hatred for his mid-season performance review. I'd rather Pronk lose out to Ted Dibiachi and John Demjanjuk.

rodells said...

Surrounded by Spankee fans last night. I hate it.

#1 - I was sitting next to some relatives of Ron Villone. The Yankee fan behind me, not related to Villone, straight from Long Island, was commenting on how GREAT a pitcher Villone is. Idiot wasn't even talking directly to the relatives. I asked him if he was talking about the same journeyman I've heard of.

#2 - Same guy, went on and on to his wife for half the night about the Jake. Some good comments, some making fun. "Definitely not as beautiful as Yankee Stadium", repeated a few times. Beautiful? Nice word, moron.

Pat Tabler said...

On Boonie, all I'm saying is that Shapiro and Shapiro have a relationship (remember that Boone deferred guaranteed money last year) and could try to get Boone to SoCal. It just happens that those 2 teams are the best fits for Boone.

I've had a number of run-ins with Yankee "fans" at the Jake. The most memorable were:
1) Sitting through Billy Traber's 1 hitter barking with 4 HUGE guys from NY for the series. At one point, the DiaBride leaned over to say, "I don't know what you're doing, but...I don't have your back."

2) Riding a kid in front of me at a game last year about where he was from. After informing him that Brunswick wasn't a borough, his response was that A-Rod was better than Boone. REALLY? He left the section soon after to catcalls.

I hate Yankees fans, particularly those born and bred in NE Ohio.

T-Bone said...

Still ticked about the Last Man vote or whatever it's called, especially after watching Pronk do his thing last night in person at the Jake. I dont know if anyone was watching the all-star selection show live last Sunday, but when they first showed the 5 AL candidates for the last spot, Piersuckski wasnt even on it, rather, Nick Swisher, but as Swisher's name showed on the screen Karl Ravech immediately corrected it and say that Piersuckski should be on the ballot, not Swisher.

Another ESPN gaffe I saw the other day during sportscenter was they did the top 10 hitters you'd want to hit you a home run in the ninth, then they wanted people to vote on espn.com. Thome was among them, but when they listed the names on the screen, it said Jim Thome - Indians. I was none too pleased about that.

Heading down tonight as well, and actually dad has tickets Sunday as well. Excited to get my first live look at Sowers.