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    Why this trade is all "right" for the Tribe
    On the eve of the Indians annual winter press tour rumors began swirling that the Tribe was about to trade popular outfielder Coco Crisp to Boston and the immediate reaction was outrage and shock. Then after a few days rumor spread that the deal was dead because of a failed physical by one of the players coming to Cleveland. The deal was revived when Boston added a conditional player to be named later and now its time to sort out what happened and why.

    The Indians lose Crisp (starting leftfielder), David Riske (right-handed set-up man), Arthur Rhodes (Left-handed set-up man) and Josh Bard (back-up catcher). In return they get right-handed hitting Jason Michaels, who will take Crisp's spot in left. Guillermo Mota, a right-handed set-up man and Kelly Shoppach who will compete for the back-up catcher spot.

    The key player however is third base prospect Andy Marte. He came from the Braves farm system which has always been rich in developing position players. Marte was rated the 9th best prospect in all of baseball and he fills a huge future void for the Tribe at third base. Aaron Boone is signed through this season with an option for '07. The problem the Indians had was looking ahead to free agency they didn't see anyone available to help and down on the farm they had no one with the ability of Andy Marte. Plus, the Indians have a number of young outfielders in the system that will be major league ready within 2 years. Brad Snyder is on the fast track and he's slated to start the year at AA before quickly moving to AAA Buffalo. Snyder hit .280 at AA last year with 16 homers and can play all 3 outfield spots. Andy Marte meanwhile is a right-handed bat with power and he's already spent time in the big league's at the age of just 21.

    The Indians have been left-handed "heavy" for the past several years and Marte and Michaels help to solve that problem. Coco Crisp hit .297 and .300 over the past two seasons but, against left handed pitching he hit just .248 last year with only 5 of his 16 homers coming against southpaws. His on base percentage of .299 also tells you that he's a bit of a free swinger and doesn't draw many walks. Jason Michaels on the other hand hit .323 against leftys and his OBP was a hundred points higher than Coco's.

    Guillermo Mota, if healthy, is a big addition to a bullpen that lost Bob Howry to free agency. He's a big strong guy who throws hard. He led the National League in relief innings pitched in '03 and '04 but, was hurt in '05 and only pitched 67 innings. To ease some of the Tribe's concerns Boston will send the Indians a player to be named later based on what kind of a year Mota has.

    Losing Arthur Rhodes is no concern if Mota is healthy. Despite being left-handed he couldn't get leftys out. Rhodes allowed left-handed batters to hit 131 points higher than rightys and he really struggled his last two months with the Tribe. In June and July he pitched in 21 games and allowed 6 earned runs and 15 hits in 18 innings while walking 8 batters.

    David Riske has been a productive pitcher out of the bullpen but, the Indians feel Fernando Cabrera could be ready to take over that role. Plus they brought in Danny Graves and Steve Karsay to help bolster the middle relief corps.

    Kelly Shoppach is a 25-year old catcher who was Boston's 2nd round pick in the 2001 draft. He was named to the post season International League All-Star team last year and he belted 26 homers during the year at AAA. Unfortunately for Josh Bard he never saw any playing time because Victor Martinez caught 147 games and he really struggled in the back-up role. He doesn't figure to see the field in Boston though where incumbent Jason Varitek is the leader of the Red Sox.

    After all of the analysis this is still a hard trade for many fans to swallow. Coco Crisp became a popular player while the Tribe rebuilt from the ashes and became a legitimate contender last year. I believe however that Mark Shapiro and his staff are trying to help this team for the '06 season and beyond. While many are already saying the Tribe took a step backwards with this deal, I wouldn't be so quick to judge. Remember the outrage when the Indians didn't bring back Omar Vizquel? Turns out the Tribe knew what they were doing with Jhonny Peralta. Maybe they deserve the benefit of the doubt on this one.

    from indians website,,,,
    You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the $%#%! plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all. ~Earl Weaver

  • #2
    And What do you think?

    MLB would put a positive spin on Trading Albert Puljos straight up for Mike Piazza.
    "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
    Carl Yastrzemski


    • #3
      That's from Matt Underwood's blog.
      CLEVELAND INDIANS Central Division Champions

      1920 1948 1954 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2001 2007


      • #4
        Sounds like a lot of "ifs" to me. I remain skeptical.
        I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a Hell of an Engineer!


        • #5
          Like most trades involving young players and/or prospects, obviously only time will tell as to which team got the better deal. At first glance, I think alot of people would say Boston got the better of the Tribe.

          However, I actually think that looking at it objectively, it's not a bad trade for either team. I think the other players involved are, for the most part, a bit of a wash talent wise. So this is essentially Coco Crisp for Andy Marte.

          Sure Crisp is more of an established player, and will help the Red Sox right away. But Marte is only 22 and has a great upside. He may be a year or so away from being the Indians everyday 3b, but once there, he might be a force for years to come.

          Now I've heard some people say there must be something wrong with him to be traded twice in a short period of time. I don't really agree with that. I think he got traded twice because he has value.

          Atlanta traded him for Renteria, a proven everyday major league shortstop, and Boston was willing to part with him only because they were getting a player they could control for 4 years that addressed a need they had right now.

          There's risk involved for both teams. Either player could struggle or flourish with their new teams, leading to lots of second guessing, and fans saying it was a bad trade for Boston or Cleveland. Hopefully they will both succeed, and it will end up being a fair trade that helped both franchises.
          Ken :gt


          • #6
            That's from Matt Underwood's blog.
            We'll miss you, COCO!
            Best of luck in Boston!

            Boof Bonser: 2006 AL ROY

            Yes, Matt Underwoods blog, ON the indians website....
            And...NO I do NOT wish COCO good luck....he is on the dark side now....

            You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the $%#%! plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all. ~Earl Weaver


            • #7
              Something tells me Boof already said that.h
              I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a Hell of an Engineer!


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