Long may you run

One year ago today, the Indians announced the trade that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers. (Actually, they sent C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers, where he was immediately renamed CC Sabathia.)

It will be years before we can assess the returns on that trade. For now, Matt LaPorta and his .919 OPS at Triple-A Columbus are looking mighty strong.

C_C_-Sabathia-200x200.jpgOutfielder Michael Brantley got off to a slow start in his first exposure to Triple-A this season, but he’s just 22 years old and still developing, and some in the organization think he’ll end up being the best player acquired in the trade.

Low-level reliever Rob Bryson blew out his shoulder shortly after the trade and had rotator cuff surgery. He has yet to appear in a game this season.

And then there was left-hander Zach Jackson, who was billed as a “throw-in” on the day of the trade, and, in spite of his decent stuff, has put up the numbers of one.

LaPorta and Brantley were obviously the keys to the deal, from the Tribe’s perspective, and they both appear to have a high ceiling. On the day of the trade, GM Mark Shapiro said the Indians targeted outfield bats as the center piece of the deal. I remember him saying there was at least one offer on the table that centered on a pitcher.

This got me thinking: Did the Indians seek out the right return for the reigning Cy Young winner? Knowing what we know now about this organization’s outlook (and what we knew then, especially given the injuries to Jake Westbrook and Adam Miller and the injuries and ineffectiveness of Fausto Carmona in the first half of ’08), should the Tribe have been targeting pitching, not outfield bats?

Thinking back to the trade market at the time of the deal, however, it doesn’t appear that target would have had much fruit to bear.

The Phillies were said to be dangling right-hander Carlos Carrasco, and that might have been the offer Shapiro was referring to. But the Indians reportedly didn’t have much interest. Carrasco is currently 5-7 with a 4.70 ERA in 16 starts at Triple-A this season.

It’s believed the Indians talked to the Yankees about Phil Hughes, but the Yankees were not among the final contenders for Sabathia’s services, either because of their hesitancy to deal Hughes or their inability to work out a sign-and-trade in which Sabathia was guaranteed to them beyond 2008.

Other than that, I’m not sure the Indians had any offers or conversations that centered on pitching. Most likely, their focus on outfield depth was as much a function of what was available in the market as it was an address of the organization’s needs.

If the trade were made today, the Indians would be looking for pitching, pitching and more pitching. That’s certainly what it would take to unseat them from their position of keeping Cliff Lee and his $9 million option for 2009.

As for the one-year-later assessment of the CC trade, it would sure be nice to see what LaPorta has to offer at the big-league level, wouldn’t it?

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Rafael Betancourt (strained right groin) will make his third and potentially last Minor League rehab appearance with Columbus tonight against Indianapolis. If all goes well, Betancourt will probably be activated by the end of the week, Eric Wedge said.
  • Fausto Carmona is getting at least one more start with Columbus before he rejoins the big-league rotation. He’s slated to get the ball Friday at Louisville.
  • The Indians will reshuffle their rotation out of the All-Star break, and it’s possible Carmona will be a part of that shuffle. For now, the Tribe has four lefties in the mix in Cliff Lee, Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey (who will be activated in advance of tomorrow’s start against the Sox) and David Huff. With Sowers, Laffey and Huff pitching this series, this is the fifth time this year the Tribe has started at least three lefties in a row but the first time that lefties have started each game of a series. “It’s fine,” Wedge said. “It can be a plus or a minus, depending on who you’re playing. We’re just looking for quality starts.”
  • At the moment, the Tribe is carrying eight relievers. That doesn’t figure to change before the All-Star break. “There’s so much uncertainty with our starters and our bullpen,” Wedge said. “We’re trying to get a feel for guys to get roles established, one way or another.”
  • The Indians made a pair of Minor League acquisitions today. Left-hander Mike Tejera was plucked out of the Mexican League to round out the Double-A Akron rotation. He was 5-1 with a 3.57 ERA in 15 appearances, including 13 starts, for Quintana Roo and Monterrey. The 32-year-old Tejara has 111 Major League appearances under his belt with the Marlins and Rangers.
  • The Tribe also signed infielder Justin Toole as a non-drafted Minors free agent. He finished his three-year collegiate career at Iowa with a .360 average. He’s headed to Mahoning Valley.
  • Shin-Soo Choo is 13-for-13 in stolen-base attempts. He is the only player in the Majors to have at least 10 steals without getting caught once.
  • With Hector Rondon promoted to Triple-A, right-hander Jeanmar Gomez is taking his place on the Southern Team for the Eastern League All-Star Game next week.
  • Andy Marte was named the International League’s batter of the week for the second straight week. He hit .458 with two homers, six RBIs and eight extra-base hits last week. Marte is tied for second in the International League with a .322 average.

~AC

14 Comments

What’s the deal with Andy Marte? And I don’t mean that in a Jerry Seinfeld way. Can we move him up and down through the system again, or can we only call him up once now?
Sure, I’m looking forward to seeing LaPorta get the call up, but the idea of Marte returning to Cleveland is nearly as entertaining!

I obviously don’t the exact answer to your question, but we would have to add him to the 40-man, which means someone would be on there way out, and I assume if we bring him up and he is no good, he would again have to go through waivers. Considering this organizations track-record in this area, that is, once they give up one someone, they give up on them for good, I would be surprised if they give Andy another shot in Cleveland. Also, since they have decided Jhonny is the 3rd basemen, with A.C. at short, there isn’t much room for him. Of course, if say, Peralta got traded, that could change things.

When Andy Marte was with the Braves he looked like he would turn into a solid major league player. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and you guys are paying for it.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

I wouldn’t say we are paying for it. It has turned out to be a pretty crappy trade all around, as Coco was never that great, Shoppach was good last year but now is garbage. I am not sure either team can be declared a winner or loser in that trade, as no one involved really worked out as envisioned at the time.

Well Chris Perez had another outstanding performance. Looks like he will eventually be going to Cloumbus to get straightened out like everybody else. I just love the trades Shapiro has been making the last couple of years. We have received such quality players for what we have given up. When is Dolan going to clean house and start making this team into a contender?

Is it just me, or is our major league bullpen turning otherwise mediocre relievers into garbage? I swear, we uses to have this bullpen coach that was around for a long time, and did a good job for the most part. But then we decided to fire him for no reason, and hired a guy that couldn’t make it as a pitching coach. Guess that was a pretty good move . . .

I’m waiting for the priest from “The Natural” to show up.
It is insane that EVERY SINGLE ONE of our relievers is awful. I mean, that seems like a mathematical improbability, doesn’t it? What are the odds that they’re ALL bad?

LACF, while I would look for confirmation and/or clarification from AC, I believe the Marte situation breaks down like:

he was designated for assignment, put on the wavier wire and cleared waivers. Then he was outrighted to the minors by the Indians. Since Marte does not have 5 years of service in the Majors the Indians (or any team) can only outright a player to the minors exactly one time in his career. After 5 years of service his approval for designation is required. Since the DFA process includes removing the player immediately from the 40-man roster, calling the player up to the majors would require the team put the player back on the FMR. At which point in time, if the team were to choose to call up the player then later designate him again, they could not do so without his consent.

Hence, I do not think Marte can float up and down the ML and minor league rosters as if he has an option year that gets awarded to a team when a player clears waivers. But perhaps I am wrong.

Yes Matt LaPorta was enough. You have to remember if the Indians held on to CC Sabathia until free agency they would have not received first round compensation for him. The Yankees signed Sabathia and Mark Teixera. The Breweres did not receieve the Yankees first rounder because it went to the Angels. So everybody in their own sort of way made out. The Yankees got their ace. The Indians got their power hitting outfielder of the future. And the Brewers made the playoffs?

I know it would probably be unconventional, and not even something I’d be leaning toward really, but I’d give Marte the shot to do something for the rest of the year. For some reason I think he might have a chip on his shoulder now and is ready to start playing like a major leaguer should. Peralta’s numbers are down and I’ve never really like him personally (seemingly has a bad attitude and unwilling to do the things that will make the team better), so I’d say package the likes of Garko & Peralta, or Peralta & Benny, and see what sticks. See if we can’t get something decent in return.

Again, I’m just talking out loud, but at this point, what could it hurt to give the guy another shot? There’s a reason people were so high on him before…the Indian’s aren’t in the race so there is no pressure on him now. Let him take his hacks and see what happens.

Good for Marte. We won’t see him this season, but he will be in camp next year. There will be an open battle at 3B next year. He is doing exactly what the organization wants: keeping his head down and putting in the hard work. You can’t hit .400 in AAA and not have SOMEBODY take notice.

I find it interesting that Marte is the flavor of the month right now amongst the commenters. I think it speaks volume to the displeasure of Jhonny Peralta’s season from the fans’ perspective.

I don’t want to harp on the subject again but when I see Michael Young doing all the right things in Texas it makes me wonder about Peralta. The only three glaring differences between these two situations is that Young went to 3B from the start of the season, Elvis Andrus is a 20 year old rookie, and Young is a MUCH better all around player than Peralta.

If grinding and versatility are Eric Wedge’s mantra then hindsight 20/20 is mine. It probably would have benefited Jhonny to be at 3B to start the year with Asdrubal at SS and DeRosa at 2B but we’re not going to restart that topic again.

Shaprio got Choo for Ben Broussard and Asdrubal Cabrera for Eduardo Perez. But he’s an idiot because Chris Perez has had 3 appearances two with the bases loaded and hasn’t succeeded in those situations. I know everyone is frustrated but there is no reason to sound stupid.

Only a butt smooching homer would not call that trade terrible. You DON’T trade a Cy Young, in his prime, lefty, and not get PITCHING as the centerpiece! Defend it some more, Castrovince. Maybe if you keep showing what a wimp you are, people will start respecting you as somebody who knows what he’s talking about…

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