Could a Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves Trade Happen This Season?

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Is Maybin worth the it if you have to take Johnson? Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Indians Would Say No

While the prospect of moving Bourn and the entirety of his contract has to be enticing for the Indians, they idea of adding Johnson can’t excite many.  Despite his ability to hit lefties he’s still managed a 0 fWAR since the start of the 2014 season (Bourn is at -0.1 fWAR the last two years). His sub-.300 OBP isn’t something that the Indians are likely to be all that excited about either.  Throw in his $9M 2017 salary and 2018 option that includes a $1M buyout and the Indians very likely will pass.  Sure Johnson and Bourn are owed essentially the same over the life of their contracts but at least Bourn’s expires after 2016 and the Indians can move on. They may prefer to just live with Bourn in 2016 and then wipe their hands clean come 2017.

Maybin has been very good this year, but his offensive history leaves much to be desired. For the same reasons the Braves may consider selling high on him, the Indians would be wise to give pause to adding him.  The Tribe has seen players break out in a first half to only come back down to earth in the second (Chisenhall last year comes to mind).  There’s no denying Maybin is an upgrade over Bourn but is he enough of one to give up value assets for?

Roberto Perez may only be a backup in Cleveland but that shouldn’t limit his value to the club.  He’s been a lifesaver with Gomes banged up and struggling.  Even if Gomes breaks out in the second half and starts hitting how we all know he can, having a backup like Perez around is valuable.  And even if the Indians do decide they will deal Perez, they may look at using him in a much bigger deal.  Sound crazy? Consider this, Roberto Perez and Cameron Maybin currently have the same fWAR (1.2), despite Perez playing in over 30 fewer games than Maybin.  Perez has a 116 wRC+ to Maybin’s 117, but Perez has been the much better defensive player, plus hitting from a much tougher position (catcher vs outfield).

Next: Why the Braves Would Say No