The Cleveland Indians made a bombshell trade by sending Francisco Mejia to San Diego in exchange for Brad Hand. But was it really the right move in the end?
Francisco Mejia was considered the Cleveland Indians number one prospect for quite some time. Fans were excited to see him potentially blossom into what could have been one of baseball’s best young catchers. We even saw glimpses of what could’ve been during Spring Training.
But things started to get strange as the team tried to transition Mejia into becoming an outfielder. In hindsight, it would’ve been great to have him as an option for the outfield at this point. As the situation started to boil over and Mejia was unhappy about being pulled away from his catcher role, the Indians sent him packing.
On July 21st the Cleveland Indians traded Mejia for pitchers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. So was it the right move? It’s a pretty debatable topic. I still think that Mejia will be one of the best catchers in the MLB soon enough. The Padres have a loaded farm system and could see themselves as one of the better teams in baseball.
But it’s not like the Indians were sifted in any way. They ended up with one of the top closers in baseball for multiple seasons with Brad Hand. Seeing how Andrew Miller and Cody Allen may be departing for free agency. The Indians are going to need more pieces for their bullpen, but had they not gotten Hand and Adam Cimber, they could be in a much worse position.
Sure, losing Mejia was tough. The Indians farm system is slowly depleting. But the Indians see this as their window. It’s a window that will likely only remain open for two to three more years at the most. The Indians still have Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez behind the plate for the foreseeable future. They also have an excellent catching prospect in Eric Haase.
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I wouldn’t say Hand and Cimber helped carry Cleveland to the division title. They could’ve won the American League even if they sent the Columbus Clippers Triple-A club out there. But Hand gave us some amazing moments against teams like the Yankees and Red Sox this year. He’s sure to do the same in 2019 as the Indians lone closer.