The Cleveland Indians, like their AL Central division rival Detroit Tigers, need a closer. Jonathan Papelbon has been in the news in trade talks with the Tigers, but will the Indians be willing to leap over their rival to make a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies?
Papelbon won’t come cheap from the Phillies as he is due $13 million from 2013 through 2016, so it seems unrealistic to believe the Indians would be willing to make such a move. The Indians have to believe that they are a championship team right now and their window is closing in order to take on any huge deal. I don’t believe that is the case.
So if the Indians don’t go after Papelbon, a cheaper route would be to go after closer Steve Cishek of the Miami Marlins. Cishek has 17 saves with a 2.97 ERA.
The Marlins are 32-55 in a rebuilding year, but if the Indians can get a player that can adds stability at closer with a contract that is slightly above $500,000 for the 2013 season, it could change their season dramatically.
The Indians are currently 46-42 and are 2.5 games back out of the wild card spot in the AL. The Indians have had the common theme over the past couple of seasons of starting off strong, then fading into the second half the season.
At the end of the day, the Indians have to make sure that they believe their roster can sustain second half success this time around, and one could argue that a closer would solve a lot of those issues entering the stretch run as The Indians are currently fourth in the majors in blown saves with 17.