Indians Look for Outfield Help, Prepare for Baltimore
According to MLB Trade rumors, Jim Bowden reported that the Cleveland Indians (47-45) are looking for outfield help.
However they do not want to take on extra salary, or give up prospects for it.
The Indians are looking all over to acquire an outfield bat, but they are unable to take back a significant contract and are unwilling to move their best prospects.
I’m still trying to figure out what exactly they plan on doing. In the same article it says that the Kansas City Royals (39-52) are trying to pawn off Jeff Francoeur to either the Indians or the Cincinnati Reds (52-40). Francoeur is not exactly a highly praised trading chip in this years market, but he would be an upgrade for what the Indians have. The Royals won’t ask for much in return (after all it is Jeff Francoeur), and replacing the combination of Johnny Damon, Shelly Duncan and Aaron Cunningham should and is top priority.
However, Francoeur is not a player that will push the Indians over the top, nor is he a type of player that is going to bring fans to the ballpark. The Indians are three games out of the American League Central Division, and only a game and one half out of a wild card spot. An investment needs to be made into the team. The Indians ownership are known to be penny-pinchers, but this is not the time to do it. A player like Carlos Quentin would be the type of guy to create buzz in Cleveland. He has name recognition from his time with the White Sox, and the abilities to make other teams take notice that the Indians are making a push to the playoffs.
Last season they went out and picked up one of the top pitchers in the market, Ubaldo Jimenez. They are literally one piece away from finally contending for not only the playoff spot but beyond. The Indians need to make the push, trade a shortstop or two and win.
But until that happens, they still need to compete. And when they welcome the Baltimore Orioels to
Jacobs Progressive Field, the Indians will have a great shot at making up ground in the AL Central. The two teams ahead of them, the division leading Chicago White Sox (50-42) and second place Detroit Tigers (49-44) are facing off this weekend.
To the hill the Tribe will throw Derek Lowe (8-7) Friday, Zach McAllister (4-1) Saturday, and Josh Tomlin (5-6) in the series finale. The Orioels send out three pitchers relativity new to the scene. On Friday they send out Miguel Gonzalez (1-1; two games started), Saturday will be Chris Tillman (1-1; two starts) and Sunday is Zach Britton (0-0; one start).
In the previous series in Baltimore, the Indians took two games out of three. If they can repeat the success they could find themselves only a couple games out of first place. That is when the trigger needs to be pulled and a trade needs to happen.