Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tribe Trade???

Various media have bandied stories of trade rumors between the Indians and the BoSox. Everything I've read seems to point in the direction of a trade being finalized shortly that will send Coco Crisp to Boston for Andy Marte and Guillermo Mota.

Coco solves an immediate need for Boston. He'll be the starting centerfielder and lead-off hitter. The Indians' haul may be less apparent, but it is considerable.

For starters, many analysts think Andy Marte (that's him to the left) is one of the top five prospects in the game. He is projected to hit .280 and show increasing power. What's that mean? It means that he won't win batting titles, but he could approach 40 homers while playing solid 3B. Last year in Richmond (AAA) at age 21, he posted a .275 Average, .372 On Base, and .506 Slugging. Only Delmon Young of Tampa Bay projects to have Marte's power right now.

But why Guillermo Mota? He's a righthanded set-up man, and he has to take the place of Rafael Betancourt, whose allegedly going to the Phillies in exchange for Jason Michaels. Michaels is a 30 year old outfielder who will play LF. He always has hit for a high average .281 (lifetime). He's not averse to taking a walk and has some power. Phillie has never figured out how to use him. As a result, he's never had 300 official at-bats in the bigs. If I had to project him for 150 games, I'd say he'll bat .280, post a .375 on base, and hit 20 homeruns.

Do I like the trade? Yes. As far as purely baseball trades go, it makes sense, and if you believe in Marte, the Tribe is getting a bundle. But, it makes me sick that the Indians had to make a trade. That's right, Shapiro was forced into giving up Coco because that cheap S.O.B. Dolan can't afford to operate a major league team.

This is just all rumor at this point, but keep reading for more details if it happens.

Coco, we hardly knew ye.

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