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Cleveland Indians: A roundtable discussion about trade assets

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The staff here at Believeland Ball got together to discuss some Cleveland Indians players we would be comfortable giving up in a trade at the deadline.

The month of July is almost here which means Cleveland Indians fans can start preparing for the trade deadline.

The team is once again in a position to buy, which also means some top prospects may have to go. Some writers here at Believeland Ball decided to share who they would be comfortable giving up in a trade for a top talent.

Starting with Phil…

Phil Gasser

For me, with names like Jacob deGrom and Manny Machado being thrown out as possible players the Indians would go after at the trade deadline, there are very few players that I wouldn’t give up for superstars like that.

The one player to me that is obviously on the block and must be featured in any big trade is Francisco Mejia. Before I get killed online by people who will call me everything under the sun, let me explain myself.

The Indians window is small and getting smaller. Francisco Lindor is only here for a few more years, Corey Kluber is over 30 despite still being the best pitcher in the AL, and other players are either old or getting close to free agency. The time to win is now and right now, Mejia doesn’t have a spot on this team.

The idea of putting Mejia in the outfield just doesn’t make much sense since he doesn’t have much experience there yet. As far as putting him at catcher, that honestly makes less sense than the outfield. Yan Gomes has been much better than we have seen from him the last two years. Yan also knows this pitching staff better than anyone else.

Roberto Perez has been beyond horrible this year but are we all willing to give up a shot at deGrom and Machado so we can have a good backup catcher? I didn’t think so.

I understand that Francisco Mejia has the shot of being a superstar one day but I don’t have the patience to wait for one day. I need today. Machado gives the Indians a chance at competing with Houston, Boston and New York. I think that deGrom makes the Indians the favorite in the AL this year and beyond. Francisco Mejia doesn’t have that effect this year or next year. He must be traded this year.

Paul Roth

As the season gets closer and closer to the All-Star break and subsequently the trade deadline, many look at the Indians to make a move. I think it is clear to everyone that the Tribe need to make a move to improve their bullpen and maybe even a starting position or two.

But as exciting as it can be to get a new top player on the team, it always requires giving up one of your own top talents. So of the Indians top players and prospects, the player I am most willing to part with in a trade scenario is Bradley Zimmer.

Zimmer is a good player with a ton of potential. But he also hasn’t shown all of that potential yet. He’s had a few injuries and the power numbers he showed in the minors haven’t translated well to the majors.

His defense is certainly a selling point to other clubs but I think it’s his potential that would have teams willing to take him. Zimmer is in only his second major league season. After batting .241/.307/.385 last season, his numbers have dipped to just .226/.281/.330.

It would be reasonable to question whether Zimmer will ever amount to anything. That’s why the Indians need to strike now. Clearly Zimmer hasn’t performed up to standards but he’s also only been pro for not even two complete seasons.

The Indians could sell clubs on his stellar defense as well as the idea that he still has tremendous potential to build on. He’s easily replaceable by Tyler Naquin or even a short-term replacement could be Rajai Davis.

Drew Zubin

If I’m the Indians I would be willing to trade Erik Gonzalez. I believe he has proven that, given the opportunity, he can be an everyday player at a number of positions. Defensively, he can play short, third and second well, and this season his bat has finally caught up to his glove.

Unfortunately for him the left side of the Indians infield is set in stone for the next few years. I would love to see him get an everyday shot at second base, but I don’t see Terry Francona pulling Kipnis out of the lineup. The only issue with trading Gonzalez is that I’m not quite sure how other teams view him.

No matter who the Indians trade for they will have to include prospects. I’m not sure Gonzalez would be enough for them to not have to include a top-tier prospect to acquire a difference-maker for the pennant race.

Brandon Kring

When the time comes I would have a hard time selecting who is available and who is not if I was the front office. At this point, personally, Francisco Mejia and Triston McKenzie should be kept unless there is some amazing offer sent their way.

After those two the one player I would be OK with giving up is Plutko. His value is not incredibly high on his own but he does add good value in a package deal.

Plutko’s recent success raises his value and helps the Indians possibly package for bullpen help. We all know this is greatly needed and Plutko could help get the missing piece they need.

With Shane Bieber pitching well, the team can afford to lose Plutko in a deal. Bieber is an arm I would like to keep and develop into a future full-time starter so Plutko draws the short stick for me.

Matt Bretz

There are several players I’d be willing to part with. Some top prospects even, depending on the return. One guy that I’m sure many fans would be upset with is Yandy Diaz, but he’s the type of guy I think both the Indians can trade and possibly should look to trade. He actually has some decent value as he has been putting up very good numbers in Triple-A Columbus this year (.815 OPS and 140 wRC+ as of this writing).

However, he is in Triple-A because he is blocked at the big league level by some guy named Jose Ramirez. Many have wanted Ramirez to move to third base but with the re-emergence of Jason Kipnis (and his contract that covers 2019), it may be worthwhile to look at getting something for Diaz who has become an infielder only.

Next: Does Danny Salazar still have value with the Tribe?

Diaz would be a great addition to any club looking to deal a piece away this deadline. He’s big-league ready so even teams in deep rebuilds would have interest along with teams that may think they are just one year away. Straight up he could probably get you a decent pen arm, maybe even a great one if you add something else in the deal.