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Cleveland Indians: A look back at the Jake Westbrook trade

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(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians are in St. Louis tonight which brings back memories of a trade that sent a Tribe mainstay to the Cardinals back in 2010.

The Cleveland Indians had a habit of trading starting pitchers right at the trade deadline before things turned around under Terry Francona.

Jake Westbrook was one of those pitchers, and he saw himself traded to the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2010 as part of a three-team trade between the Indians, Cardinals and Padres.

Westbrook began his time in Cleveland in 2001 and was a regular in the rotation throughout the remainder of the decade. And while he was the focal point of the trade when it happened, the trade is now remembered for the player the Padres sent to the Indians.

Here is an excerpt from an ESPN.com article on the trade:

"The Indians got Double-A pitcher Corey Kluber from San Diego. The 24-year-old righty was 6-6 with a 3.45 ERA at Double-A and led the Texas League in strikeouts. Antonetti said Kluber will be assigned to Double-A Akron. “He has an above average fastball with a plus breaking ball,” Antonetti said. “He has the ability to miss bats. He gives us another upper-level major league starter that hopefully can be part of our rotation at some point down the road.”"

That’s right, this is not the Jake Westbrook trade. It’s the Corey Kluber trade.

It is insane to look back and think that he came to the team labeled as just another Double-A pitcher with some above average stuff. Rather humble beginnings for one of the best pitchers in Indians history.

The Padres traded a superstar and were sent Ryan Ludwick, via the Cardinals, in exchange. What a steal.

Westbrook went on to win a World Series title with the Cardinals in 2011, so the trade worked out for him as his career began to wind down. The only real loser of the trade was the Padres, who traded away one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.

Next: Does a deal for Jacob deGrom make sense?

This is why it is important to employ smart scouts. If a team casually trades away prospects, it could doom them for years to come. It could also help another team become a contender, so Indians fans should be thanking the rebuilding Padres for the trade.

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