In Cleveland Indians trade rumors, the Tribe’s been linked to DJ LeMahieu, Adrian Beltre, and a couple of relievers.
1. Adrian Beltre could be a fit for the Tribe as the All-Star is making his way through Indians trade rumors, but if a deal doesn’t get done, Cleveland may look to reshape their infield by trading for Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu
Per FanRag’s Jon Heyman, LeMahieu could be dealt if the Rockies decide to sell on the current campaign.
"“…Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, who could possibly fit the Red Sox if Dustin Pedroia can’t return, as Jon Morosi of MLB.com recently pointed out, plus also the Indians if Jason Kipnis doesn’t regain his form and perhaps the Cardinals or Diamondbacks (though it’s hard to see the Rockies helping their main rival).”"
LeMahieu is batting .282 with a .775 OPS. He’s making $8.5 million this season and can be a free agent after the season.
2. There’s that name again: Kipnis. The organization is giving him every opportunity to make trade rumors for infielders disappear, and the JK Kid just can’t get it done.
It’s not easy to write, I mean, who doesn’t like Kipnis?
But the numbers don’t lie. With a -0.1 WAR, Kipnis is batting .208 with a .613 OPS (awful).
He’s making $13.6 million and $14.6 million in 2019. He has no trade value.
For what it’s worth, Kipnis is batting .255 with three homers in his last 15 games. No one’s putting in the All-Star Game because of this, but maybe this will be the start of something that gets him on the right track. Time is of the essence, and Kipnis is running out of days.
3. Ok, everone’s excited by the Beltre rumors. Who wouldn’t be?
Besides the Indians, the Braves and Red Sox could be potential suitors, according to The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
Beltre’s 39, but posting a 1.2 WAR. He was batting .306 with a .791 OPS (above average) entering June 23.
Beltre can be a free agent after this season, and the Rangers appear ready to deal him if he’s willing to accept a trade, according to Cafardo. Beltre would have to exercise his 10/5 no-trade clause to make a deal possible.
He’s set to earn $18 million this season, so the Tribe would take on around $9 million of that sum if they picked Beltre up mid-season. That’s a lot of money for a team that spent no money this offseason.
It shouldn’t cost the Indians a Francisco Mejia or Triston McKenzie type prospect to make a deal either, however, if there’s competition, the price could always go up, or the Rangers just might like what another team is offering more.
There’s so much to like about adding Beltre. By stepping into the lineup, he provides a right-handed stick to balance Terry Francona‘s order. He can play third base while Jose Ramirez fills in at third. Jason Kipnis would go to the bench, because no one is going to come within a 10-foot-pole of him before the trade deadline.
Jose Ramirez at second and Beltre at third is obviously an upgrade over Ramirez (3B) and Kipnis (2B).
4. Perhaps the Indians need to think bigger and little bit longer term when it comes to acquiring Beltre.
That’s because the Rangers are shopping closer Keone Kela, who is under club control through 2020 (No reports have come out linking the Tribe to Kela).
But with Cody Allen hitting free agency this winter, the Tribe may be looking for a closer. And because Texas isn’t supposed to be in contention by the time Kela becomes a free agent, there’s a theory the he won’t command as much on the market, per the Dallas Morning News.
"“The Rangers, however, are likely to still be rebuilding in 2020, so Kela’s value might not be as significant to the Rangers as to other teams.”"
Kela’s converted all 17 of his save opportunities in his first full season of closing games. There are more recognizable names on the market with San Diego dangling Brad Hand, while the Orioles are rumored to be shopping Zach Britton. Maybe the Indians fall into Kela for less? Something to watch.
5. Speaking of Britton, the Indians have been rumored to him before, and that speculation isn’t dying down, according to Heyman.
Obviously, Chris Antonetti is reading the Factory, because Barraclough was one of the five players this scribe suggested the Tribe should make a play for.
7. The Indians were interested in Kelvin Herrera, along with the Braves, Dodgers and Angels. The Royals dealt him to the Nationals.