Thursday, May 30, 2013
Indians headed for sell mode?
By Jason A. Churchill
The Cleveland Indians were in first place in the American League Central a week ago and may be a club that looks to add to their roster to make a deep run for a playoff spot this season. They could use some starting pitching, and perhaps another reliever, too. Adding a quality starter such as Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, who just returned from the disabled list and looked sharp in his first outing and not-so-sharp in his second, could give the rotation the boost it needs to sustain their early-season success.
The club will hit a tougher stretch of their schedule over the next several weeks, however, and ESPN Insider's Jim Bowden writes Wednesday that the Indians were in first place a year ago, too, and ultimately finished 20 games back, suggesting the club should not take their eye off the future. Among the moves Bowden suggests? Trading shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and closer Chris Perez for starting pitching.
UPDATE: Since the initial entry, the Indians are 1-5 and have just two wins in their past nine tries, dropping them a game and a half behind the Tigers with more of that tough schedule ahead, including sets at the Yankees, Tigers and Rangers, the three first-place clubs in the American League.
Instead of renting a player such as Garza, Bowden believes adding pieces for the future makes more sense and could set up the club more sustainable success as early as next season. The St. Louis Cardinals, Bowden notes, could use Cabrera, and have pitching, such as right-handers Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez, that they may be able to spare.
Bowden also suggests the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers as potential fits for Perez, naming Tigers lefty Drew Smyly as a potential return package.
Here's more from Bowden on the Indians:
Jim BowdenIndians should play it smart
"Indeed, the Indians are a great story, but they serve as a cautionary example. Placing too much emphasis on what might be short-term success could end up hurting the club in the long run. Their current starting pitching simply isn’t good enough to maintain their first-place status. To have true staying power -- not just for this season but for an extended run of success in the future -- the Indians must address the starting rotation for the years to come."