As we approach the 2018 MLB trade deadline let’s look back at the best deadline deals in Cleveland Indians history.
Every season, at some point in July, all baseball teams have to decide if they’re sellers or buyers. Or in the case of the Kansas City Royals, hold tight and prayers. (I’m not complaining – the Royals failure to recognize the obvious and let Lorenzo Cain get away for nothing last year was brilliant from a Cleveland Indians fan point of view).
The Indians have been buyers recently and sellers in the past.
Let’s look at the deals and see what worked out best. For the purposes of this article, we will consider success as follows:
When buying: You wind up going farther in the current season than you would have without the trade. This could mean making it to the postseason, or going deeper than you would have otherwise.
When selling: You set yourself up for future success, ideally a future trip to the postseason.
With that in mind, here we go:
Best Deal No. 5
2006 Part One: Eduardo Perez for Asdrubal Cabrera
On June 30, 2006 the Seattle Mariners needed a right-handed hitting DH. The Mariners were 41-40 and two games out of first place. Carl Everett was hitting .238 (OPS .689), but was below the Mendoza line against lefties. Eduardo Perez, an offseason free agent find for the Tribe, was hitting .303 (OPS .979). The Indians were 35-43, 19 games out of first. They were ready to sell.
The price for Perez? Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
2006 Part Deux: Ben Broussard for Shin-Soo Choo
Less than one month later, the Mariners decided to get more help at DH. This time they asked for left-handed hitting Ben Broussard. Broussard was having a career year, hitting .321 (OPS .880) at the time of the trade. The Mariners were still in the hunt for the playoffs. The Indians were even further out. Goodbye Big Ben, hello Shin-Soo Choo.
In the end, the Mariners finished 15 games out. Cabrera helped the Indians to a division title and a near World Series appearance in 2007. Choo was solid in right field for years, before going to Cincinnati in the Trevor Bauer/Bryan Shaw trade.