In Indians trade rumors, top prospect Francisco Mejia’s name has come up regarding the the Tribe’s interest Orioles’ star Manny Machado.
Cleveland is rumored to be the AL club with the best shot of landing Manny Machado. If that happens, they’re going to have to trade away their No. 1 prospect, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
"“He is the player the Orioles would have to get in any Manny Machado deal. The switch-hitting Mejia, 22, is having a strong season at Triple A Columbus, hitting .285 with seven homers and 41 RBIs,” Cafardo wrote."
Trading Mejia would go against everything the Indians organization has come to represent and a fact of life of living in a small market: You can’t give talented prospects away for a three-month rental.
Cleveland tried trading Mejia once, in 2016. He was to be the centerpiece of the trade to acquire Jonathan Lucroy, but the Brewers’ backstop vetoed the deal. Mejia went from a very good prospect, to a great one.
With that trade, the Indians would’ve been getting Lucroy with 2 1/2 years of control. The other deal the organization made that summer, for reliever Andrew Miller, returned the same type of contract. Yes, the Indians gave a lot, but they got something in return they could use for than just eight weeks.
Cleveland.com beat writer Paul Hoynes believes Mejia could be traded, but the Tribe would have to get some controllable years in return.
"“If the Indians get the right kind of deal, I believe they’ll trade him.They were willing to trade him in 2016. Mejia has improved since, but he’s still a player without a position for a team that knows it has to make improvements if it’s going to get deep into the postseason,” Hoynes wrote."
Hoynes also addressed whether Mejia would be enough to pry reliever Brad Hand away from the Padres.
It wouldn’t, Hoynes contended. Mejia, along with someone such as Shane Beiber or Adam Plutko would also have to chance uniforms.
Hand is the type of player the Indians would probably be in the market for because he fills a need this year, and after Cody Allen leaves, the Tribe would certainly look for him to be their closer of the future.
Hand, 28, is under contract for three years after this season. The final year of his contract (2021) comes with a $1 million buyout. He’s due to earn $10 million in that final season.
Hand, a left hander, has 61 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. He has a 3.05 ERA, along with 24 saves.
The past week isn’t the Indians first look at Machado. The Tribe was reportedly interested in him last winter, but didn’t pull the trigger on a trade.
With the infield situation unchanged since then, it’s unlikely the Tribe would move its top prospect for a rental.