Cleveland Indians send Brandon Moss to St. Louis for elite pitching prospect

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The Cleveland Indians have made another move as the Trade Deadline draws nearer.

After shipping David Murphy to Los Angeles earlier in the week, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports the Tribe has completed a trade that sends outfielder Brandon Moss to St. Louis in exchange for pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky.

The move comes on the heels of Matt Holliday’s return to the disabled list with a right quadriceps injury that has the Cards scrambling for offense. Moss fits the offensive bill by many standards, though he has struggled mightily on all accounts since joining the Indians this offseason. Moss is hitting just .217/.208/.487 this season in Cleveland.  As Andrew Kinsman of SB Nation writes

"While he hasn’t settled in well at Cleveland, Moss has a pretty decent track record and might actually be a good fit for St Louis. The Cardinals were looking for someone who can play both 1B and the OF, having already lost 1B Matt Adams for the season and with OF Matt Holliday re-injuring his right quad last night."

Moss’s departure not only saves the Indians some money, but it opens another roster spot for the Tribe to begin cycling in the plethora of young, talented outfielders that await in Triple-A Columbus. Neither Murphy or Moss fit into the team’s long-term plans, so it makes sense neither will be in a Tribe uniform after tomorrow’s deadline. Even better, while many were disappointed with the team’s return of Angels’ shortstop prospect Eric Stamets, Chris Antonetti and crew may have scored big with the return of Kaminsky.

The Cards’ first round pick in 2013, Kaminsky was the team’s No. 5 prospect coming into the season, according to BA Prospect Handbook. His fastball and curveball combination projects, at very least, as a dynamite relief pitcher. He is pitching to the tune of an outstanding 2.09 ERA and 2.53 FIP in 17 starts at advanced Single-A and still has the potential to develop into a quality starter at the major league level.

(Side Note: Tribe fans who continue to blindly doubt the competence of the Indians’ front office should consider this – Antonetti just turned mid-level prospect Joey Wendle into Kaminsky. Think about that.)

The Indians and Cardinals have become frequent trade partners at the deadline and, coincidentally, the Indians have clearly gotten the better end of each of their last two deadline deals. In 2013, the Indians received relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski for infield prospect Juan Herrera. The following summer, the Indians dumped Justin Masterson and his $4 million salary in exchange for outfield prospect James Ramsey, who could be next in line for a promotion.

With the Indians six games out of the Wild Card, Antonetti appears to have shifted his priority to next the 2016 season, though a late-season run into the postseason is still not out of the question. Starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar are reportedly available (though either one being dealt is probably a long shot) along with first baseman Carlos Santana.

Next: Roster gets younger following Murphy trade

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