Saturday, January 28, 2006

Coco Crisp to Boston for Prospects, Washed Up Reliever

Update: Terry Pluto, one of my favorite sports columnists, analyzes this trade today in the Akron Beacon Journal.

The Cleveland Indians consumated a trade with the Boston Red Sox to send center fielder and leadoff batter Coco Crisp to beantown for prospect third baseman Andy Marte. Cleveland also agreed to part with reliever David Riske and backup catcher Josh Bard. To compensate for the loss Riske, they received Fenando Mota, a former Atalanta reliever who has yet to pitch for Boston, and whom intitially failed a physical with the tribe.

Cleveland then completed a long standing trade to find Crisp's replacement, sending aging reliever Arthur Rhodes and receiving outfielder Jason Michaels who arrives with the team from Philadelphia.

And, as the Akron Beacon Journal Reports, Mark Shapiro is still in talks with Cincinatti in regards to bringing hard swinging (he sometimes makes contact, I've seen him play!) but strike out prone Austin Kearns to town. Alas, the tribe will show starting pitcher Jake Westbrook the way down I-71 to the queen city if the Indians and Reds work this deal out?

So lets just say all these trades happen? Where does this leave the Indians?

Well, in my opinion, a team with the best bullpen in baseball has become significantly different, if not better or worse.

Don't forget, Bob Howry, who had a fantastic season after being found in the dumpster by the tribe, bolted for the Los Angelas Dodgers.

Take out Riske, a servicable setup man who never had much luck at being a closer.

Take out Rhodes, who dealt with a family problem down the playoff stretch last year and was not in Cleveland most of the time.

Altogether, the bullpen looks very different. And the tribes rock hard rotation becomes very different next year, especially if the Westbrook for Kearns deal is exectuted: Bye Bye Kevin Millwood, Scott Elarton and Jake Westbrook. Implant Paul Byrd and Jason Johnson and ???????.......hmm...leaves a hole to fill?

That being said, I took a look at the Indians 40 man roster at and I'll attempt to pick the team!


Casey Blake (Remember how newspaper columnists said that we needed an upgrade here?)
Jason Michaels (Unknown, possibly fourth outfielder)
Austin Kearns
Grady Sizemore

Comments: Having Kearns and Sizemore in the outfield looks wonderful. Casey Blake and Jason Michaels split time at the other spot. If Kearns comes, and he doesn't strike out, the outfield will represent. I just love Sizemore.

Ben Broussard (Um, see note after Casey Blake...same holds true here)
Ronnie Belliard (Originally plugged in as stopgap until Brandon Phillips was ready, Belliard has become a Fan Favorite)
Johnny Peralta (keep hitting Johnny)
Aaron Boone (Hopefully, he'll be back to his former self)
Victor Martinez (Just hit Victor!)

Designated Hitter: Travis Hafner

Ramon Vasquez (IF)
Ryan Garko (Rookie catcher, maybe some first base)

Wow........the Indians have some firepower here........let's hope everybody hits and hits often.

Starting Pitching:

C.C. Sabathia
Cliff Lee
Paul Byrd
Jason Johnson
......................Big Hole!


Closer: Bob Wickman
Setup: Rafael Betancourt
Matt Miller
Scott Sauerbeck
Fernando Cabrera

Add it all up, it looks pretty good..........Shapiro will just have to find another quality starter. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that this maybe free agent starter Jeff Weaver.

Although Cleveland Fans will loose one of their beloved players with the best name in Baseball, the tribe is in great shape for the future, if this Andy Marte guy pans out. Will he be the next Brandon Phillips or Grady Sizemore? Only time will tell. Anyways, look for the tribe to finish second behind Jim Thome's White Sox.....Yes that does hurt!

Well, I'm out........all have a good day!


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