Friday, June 30, 2006

The Indians Make a Deal

In an effort to address their shortage of minor league middle infield talent, the Indians sent Eduardo Perez to Seattle for minor league 2B/SS Asdrubal Cabrera. The switch-hitting Cabrera is a good fielder who hasn't shown much offense so far this season at AAA Tacoma. He's only 20 years old, however, and is regarded one of the Mariners' top ten prospects. You can read a profile of him here and, to the extent you put much weight on these things, a three year projection on him here.

The Indians also called up first baseman Ryan Garko from Buffalo. Although Garko's only batting .255 for the Bisons, his OBP is 100 points higher thanks to 33 walks, and he's driven in 49 runs. As this article at the Indians' website suggests, Garko's stay with the Indians may be brief, possibly lasting only until Jason Michaels returns from the DL.

The article says that Mark Shapiro denies that the trade of Perez is a "textbook pre-trading deadline cash dump," to which I think the appropriate response is "don't piss down my neck and tell me that it's raining." What else do you call a deal where a team that's 18 games out on June 30th swaps a guy making almost $2.0 million for a minor league prospect?

Shapiro also reportedly said the deal had nothing to do with concerns about Peralta. While that's probably true, after Wednesday night, it's a little hard to believe.

Despite Shapiro's little bit of spin doctoring, I think he and the Tribe made a nice trade. Perez is a journeyman whose value will probably never be higher, and Cabrera addresses a need in the organization and looks to be a decent prospect. Frankly, the Mariners appear to have given up a lot in exchange for a guy whose primary role is reportedly going to be platooning with Carl Everett in an effort to increase the team's productivity from the DH spot.

I'll also go way out on a limb and predict that this won't be the last trade involving the Indians that we hear about before the July 31st deadline.

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