The Cleveland Indians are already the clear winners of the Myles Straw trade
Exactly one month ago, on July 30, the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros agreed to a trade deadline deal with the clock ticking down to 0:00 to make moves. The agreement saw Cleveland send Houston relief pitcher Phil Maton and catcher prospect Yainer Diaz for outfielder Myles Straw. Despite being just a month later, it’s becoming quite clear that Cleveland may have fleeced Houston in the deal.
Typically it takes multiple seasons to figure out winners and losers of trades, but the early return just seems to lean heavily to Cleveland. No disrespect to Maton or Diaz, they can still be key assets for Houston, but what Straw is doing for the Tribe is something the club has needed for a very long time.
Anyone who has followed Cleveland over the last handful of seasons, at least, understands the organization’s struggle to find a centerfielder. The list is nearly as long as the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks before Baker Mayfield. It includes Delino DeShields Jr., Greg Allen, Oscar Mercado and Leonys Martin – and that’s just from 2019 and 2020 and is far from everyone.
The position has been a spot on the field that has just been a rotating door. Until now. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, we did that with Mercado in 2019, but Straw is making it rather difficult to not get excited about the possibility of what could be.
Turning 27-years old in November, Straw will be under team control through the 2025 season and is already lighting it up for Cleveland. Since arriving to the 216, Straw has played 28 games and has entrenched himself at the top of the batting order.
Over those 28 games, Straw is slashing a solid .276/.339/.405 with nine doubles, two home runs, nine RBI and five stolen bases. He’s also been able to draw 11 walks. As for when he’s slotted at the top of the order, Straw is slashing .267/.336/.363 on the season.
Straw has been just as strong in field, too. He has just one error since coming to Cleveland and has flashed the leather almost on a nightly basis with highlight reel catch after highlight reel catch. It’s a skill-set combination that the Tribe have simply just lacked in center field. They’ve been able to find either an offensive centerfielder or a defensive one, but have lacked someone who can do both, and do it all consistently.
Now, while Straw has been a great addition to Cleveland’s lineup, it’s only one side of the equation. Just because he’s doing well doesn’t mean that the Cleveland Indians won the trade. However, in this case, Houston hasn’t received much on their end of the deal. At least not yet.
More from Away Back Gone
- Cleveland Guardians tantalizingly close to locking up AL Central tiebreakers
- Cleveland Guardians: Terry Francona becomes meme in profanity-laced ejection
- Say goodbye to defensive shifts and hello to bigger bases, pitch clock in 2023
- Cleveland Guardians: Shane Bieber second-fastest to 800 strikeouts in major-league history
- The next week will make or break the Cleveland Guardians’ season
Of the two players the Astros received, Maton is the only one that has played in the majors for the Astros. It hasn’t been a large sample size, with just 11.1 innings pitched, but that might be due to the struggles Maton has endured during that time on the mound.
With Houston, Maton has an ERA of 6.35 with just 10 strikeouts while his WHIP is up at 1.676. What’s odd is that Maton has given up just one home run, meaning that his runs are coming from consecutive base hits, not round trips.
As for Diaz, he’s been playing pretty well. He’s played a total of 20 games in the minors since the move and saw a lot of success in High-A. He slashed .333/.382/.767 over eight games with four home runs and 10 RBI. The problem with him is finding his position. He’s been moved around a decent amount and just doesn’t have a natural spot.
Depending on how Diaz turns out, there’s still time for Houston to catch up in this trade, but the immediate return is clear that Cleveland got the better end of this deal. Straw is becoming a key piece of Cleveland’s future outfield while Maton has struggled in his limited appearances and could fall out of any role in Houston.
We’ll check back in with this deal down the road to see how things are going on both sides, but as it currently stands it really seems like Cleveland may have fleeced Houston in this trade.