Trade 1: Cheap OF/P help
I believe the Indians would do this trade because it helps to bolster an inconsistent bullpen and adds some pop to the outfield. Ryan Tepera has been a good right-handed bullpen piece for the Blue Jays over the last four seasons.
He has a career 3.31 ERA and has been excellent against right-handed batters this season, as shown by righties hitting only .221 off him. Tepera is arbitration eligible each of the next three seasons.
Teoscar Hernandez is a 25-year-old, right-handed outfield bat that can provide some pop. He’s played all three outfield positions in his career. This season Hernandez has slugged 13 home runs, driven in 35 runs and is batting .256. With the impending free agency of Michael Brantley, Hernandez could prove to be a longer term solution to possibly filling that hole.
Hernandez is under club control through the 2020 season and then has arbitration until 2023. If the Indians wanted to make this trade cheaper, they could substitute Curtis Granderson for Hernandez, but that would only be a short-term solution. If that’s the case the Indians could do this trade for much less lauded prospects.
I believe the Blue Jays do this trade because everybody is looking for good young arms and Elijah Morgan fits the bill. Morgan is the Indians No. 29 ranked prospect, according to MLB.com. At 22 years old, he’s been outstanding this season between Low-A Lake County and High-A Lynchburg. Since being called up to Lynchburg on May 21, Morgan has an 2.06 ERA and hitters have batted only .172 against him in 52.1 innings.
Ernie Clement is the Indians No. 25 ranked prospect. He’s had an outstanding start to the 2018 season. Clement has played his way up to High-A Lynchburg and so far has raked there. He’s batting .394 in 16 games. According to MLB.com he profiles more as a second base/super utility type player. He’d be a welcomed addition to the Blue Jays minor league middle infield group.
This trade is contingent on Tepera returning healthy from inflammation in his right elbow. He’s scheduled to come off the 10-day DL on July 13.