Guardians All-Time Lists

Cleveland Indians: The 6 “worst” deadline deals in Tribe history

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Any time you make a deadline deal, there’s a chance it won’t work out like you planned. In general the Cleveland Indians won more deadline deals than they lost. But there are a few bad ones.

When I really looked at the trades, I found four bad ones. And one of those was successful in the short-term for the Cleveland Indians. But there were two more trades that we need to consider. Let’s file them under the heading of “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

The time the Indians traded the reigning Cy Young winner

C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee for Matt LaPorta, Rob Bryson, Zach Jackson and a player to be named later.

Sabathia was everything the Brewers hoped for: 11-2. He wasn’t everything they hoped for in the postseason, losing Game 2 in the NLDS. The Brewers were eliminated in four games.

LaPorta was the can’t miss prospect the Indians wanted. He missed. Bryson never made it to Cleveland and Jackson (2-3, 6.11 ERA) didn’t make it for long.

Per the terms of the trade, the Indians got to pick the player to be named later. Had the Brewers not made the playoffs, they would have made the choice. And it probably wouldn’t have been Michael Brantley. The Indians choices came down to third baseman Taylor Green, or Brantley. Green hit .207 in parts of two seasons for Milwaukee.

The Indians chose wisely.

The other time the Indians traded the reigning Cy Young winner

Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to Philadelphia for Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson.

Knapp was the prime prospect. He had number one starter upside. He also had three shoulder surgeries.

Jason Donald and Lou Marson were bit players for the Tribe.

Fortunately Carlos Carrasco made up for the loss of Cliff Lee.