Cleveland Indians: Jordan Luplow gives Tribe outfield depth

In an intriguing trade, the Cleveland Indians have said goodbye to infielder Erik Gonzalez and two other prospects to add Jordan Luplow and Max Moroff.

While it isn’t exactly a blockbuster trade, the Cleveland Indians made a smart move on Wednesday afternoon. The Tribe sent Erik Gonzalez, Tahnaj Thomas, and Dante Mendoza packing for Pittsburgh in exchange for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.

The trade gives the Indians some depth to their outfield, as they have plenty of outfielders hitting the open market this Winter. Jordan Luplow may not be the most “big-league ready” outfielder as he only played 37 games in the majors last year. But if he’s fully recovered from his appendectomy procedure by Spring Training, he could find himself back in the MLB quickly.

The Indians have a serious need for outfielders, and Luplow could develop into an impressive fielder. His numbers at the plate could use some improvement. Luplow slashed .185/.272/.359 in the majors last year. That is one thing the Indians will have to keep an eye on. While the Indians would love to get some outfield help, it wouldn’t feel worth it to cost them valuable at-bats.

Saying goodbye to Erik Gonzalez isn’t extremely difficult. He had some fun moments in his time with the Tribe, but he never found himself as a full-time player. Gonzalez would constantly come off the bench, and his numbers left more to be desired.

The Indians also gave the Pirates their 30th ranked prospect in Tahnaj Thomas. Thomas only played in the Arizona and Dominican leagues, so the club didn’t really get much out of him.

Max Moroff was also acquired by the Tribe in the deal. He’s spent his whole career in the Pirates system including three seasons in the majors. The Indians don’t have much need for a 2B/3B/SS, but it does fill the void left by the flexible Gonzalez.

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It’s not a huge trade by any means, but both clubs added depth. It’ll be interesting to see how the two newest members of the Tribe fare in Spring Training and if they make it to the majors.