Coming into this week, there were plenty of rumors being tossed around regarding starter Carlos Carrasco. In the middle of a quality season while carrying a team-friendly contract, Carrasco had many clubs calling Cleveland to check on the asking price. The Tribe continued to insist – even to Carrasco himself – he was not for sale. But, when you’re talking about the trade deadline, nothing is ever official ’til the deadline passes.
However, despite creating more interest with his two-hit, complete game win over the Oakland A’s last night, Carrasco wasn’t traded. As it stands, this seems to be a clear sign the Indians aren’t giving up with their current cast, focusing on turning things around next season.
Many wondered if Cleveland would go full-on fire-sale mode coming in to the trade deadline. The team was woefully falling short of expectations, and was coming out of a miserable weekend slump. At the same time, they had a lot of pieces they could try to build around with a solid offseason’s work.
Depending both on whether or not the Indians traded Carrasco and what they potentially would’ve received, you were going to get a good look at how they viewed their future. Had they dealt him, but only for some raw prospects, it would’ve been a clear sign a sizable rebuild might be on the agenda. There really was no reason to move Carrasco, so if they shipped him for players who won’t even be ready next season, it would’ve said a lot.
However, word had it the team was looking for a substantial haul for the righty. Specifically, Cleveland was rumored to be seeking players who could both help right away and be on the roster next season.
If these rumors were true, it only solidifies the fact the Tribe doesn’t necessarily believe it needs to hit the restart button, not yet at least. The team wasn’t going to sell one of their best players just for the sake of selling him. This was not the “everything must go” roster dump we saw in 2009.
Instead, Cleveland was essentially going into this process only willing to listen to potential Carrasco deals which were truly overwhelming. Since the team didn’t need to move him, it really had to be sold on the idea of doing so.
In keeping Carrasco, the team proved any move it would’ve made was going to be done with the thought process of ensuring the team could still attempt to contend with the remaining rotation and, hopefully, more offense.
Clearly, this season has been a failure for the Indians. However, it’s good to see the front office isn’t completely dumping the team and starting over. They were either keeping Carrasco or convincing a desperate team to sell the farm for him.
He ended up staying in Cleveland, but either route implied the team wasn’t planning on a rebuild next season. In the middle of such an upsetting summer, this game-plan has to be a little comforting for Indians fans.