By Steve Williams on June 3, 2014
The Cleveland Indians are in position to make another playoff push this year, and in all likelihood they will be buyers at the deadline barring a major collapse. Here are a few names that would help the Tribe make a run at the postseason while also keeping in mind which teams will be sellers at the deadline.
Samardzija is the biggest name out there likely to be shopped around, as the Cubs are struggling and he clearly wants out of that situation. The Indians made a similar move a few years ago trading for Ubaldo Jimenez, but the price for the righty will be hefty. The Indians probably won't pursue Samardzija, but he obviously would help them (the Tribe would also be able to control him through the 2015 season).
2014: 12 GS, 1-5, 2.54 ERA, 1.154 WHIP
Bedard is an interesting name, considering the Indians' lack of left-handed starters. T.J. House is currently the only lefty who has started a game for the Tribe, but he is unproven. Bedard would be a reliable veteran presence in a mostly inconsistent rotation, not to mention a cheap price tag to get him.
2014: 9 GS, 2-4, 4.27 ERA, 1.489 WHIP
Balfour has seen his share of struggles in 2014, having his first bad year since 2009. Another veteran pitcher, Balfour would help relieve some of the late-game pressure that is on Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen right now with John Axford out of the closer's role. A change of scenery would do Balfour some good, and getting out of the AL East wouldn't hurt either.
2014: 20.2 IP, 9 SV, 5.23 ERA, 1.548 WHIP
The third Rays' player on the list, James Loney would provide some hitting in the first base and/or DH spot for the Tribe. They have gotten some of the worst production out of those two spots, which are typically some of the best hitters on the team. The Rays will be sellers at the deadline if they continue to struggle, and Loney along with the previous two veterans won't be too expensive to acquire.
2014: 209 AB, .287 BA, 2 HR, 28 RBI
Morales is on this list for the same reason as Loney, except he won't cost the Tribe anything to acquire since Morales is currently a free agent (not to mention he has much more power than Loney). He will most likely be signed after the MLB Draft this week so teams won't have to give up a compensatory draft pick. Look for Morales to sign for somewhere in the $ 6-8 million range very soon.
2013: 602 AB, .277 BA, 23 HR, 80 RBI
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