In the heat of all of this trade deadline madness, the Cleveland Indians stay under the radar and fill a position need with a solid defensive player.
It’s not Bryce Harper folks, but the Cleveland Indians have added depth if nothing else. The Indians have traded for Leonys Martin in exchange for their number 8 prospect Willi Castro. It would appear that Martin has been added for his defensive play, which has been formidable in his time in the majors.
The Indians have said they wanted to add a left-handed outfielder for some time. This is certainly not a big splash. In fact, it’s likely Martin won’t even be an everyday starter. But he is batting well against righty pitchers, but lefties have given him problems.
It’s likely he will be used in succession with Rajai Davis and/or Greg Allen. Martin has a .731 OPS on the season and is eligible for arbitration after this year. He is a free agent the following offseason.
Giving up Willi Castro isn’t the end of the world. He is the number eight prospect in the Tribe system but he didn’t really have a path to the majors with the Indians current infield. In fact it was likely that Yu Chang would’ve made it to the majors before Castro.
Regardless, this feels like a bit of an underwhelming move. It isn’t a bat that is going to make a huge difference in this lineup. He will likely hit in the bottom third of the order when he plays. But the Indians didn’t give up much for him.
Giving up prospect to a division rival is never an ideal move. But this addresses a lingering issue. His defense and speed make up for the loss of Bradley Zimmer until the middle of next year and it allows the Indians to bring him back fully healthy.
Also included in the trade is Kyle Dowdy. Dowdy is a relief pitcher in Double-A with the Tigers. He has a 4.74 ERA in 95 innings. It will be interesting to keep an eye on him and if he stays in Double-A with how many arms are in the Akron bullpen.
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I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indians don’t make any other moves before the deadline. If they do I would imagine it would not be for an outfielder. But the waiver period in a month could still hold some surprises.