Cleveland nearly pulls off biggest trade in recent memory
With the Indians pulling out of the Chase Headley hunt for apparent salary reasons, the Tribe went fishing, albeit in the desert, in search of another bat.
According to multiple reports, the Indians were on the verge of trading resurgent pitcher Carlos Carrasco and former first-round pick Clint Frazier to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In order for the trade to work, a third team needed to get involved, and the Indians felt they had a partner in the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays would have sent Edwin Encarnacion to Cleveland and Aaron Sanchez to the Diamondbacks and , with Paul Goldschmidt going from Arizona to the Jays to complete the deal.
Encarnacion played in 128 games for the Jays last season, with a slash of .268/.354/.547 with a WAR of 3.6. Goldschmidt would have been a worthy replacement and would have seen the majority of time at first for the Jays, even with the recent addition of Justin Smoak.
Sep 13, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) is greeted by third base coach Luis Rivera after hitting a home run against Tampa Bay Rays in the seventh inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The Diamondbacks initially asked for Fransico Lindor, but the Indians balked at including the top prospect for only two more years of Encarnacion. Willing to part with Frazier and Carrasco still seemed like a steep price, but there was no way the Tribe would part with Frazier and either catcher Francisco Mejia or infielder Joe Wendle, who the Diamondbacks were equally high on.
Sanchez would give the Diamondbacks some flexibility in the bullpen, as the 22-year old right hander still hasn’t reached his potential. In 24 appearances with the Jays last season, Sanchez went 2-2 with three saves, 27 strikeouts and just four earned runs allowed. Baseball America had him at number one on the Blue Jays top ten prospects list heading into 2014.
There are always an enormous amount of moving pieces when it comes to trades of this magnitude. Evidently one of those pieces broke, because the three-team blockbuster deal fell through. While disappointing, the Indians can take solace in the fact that they were able to hang on to their young talent. For now…