The Cleveland Indians should trade Francisco Mejia according to one MLB scribe, but could the Tribe have other plans for their prospect?
Is ending the the 70-year World Championship drought worth top prospect Francisco Mejia?
ESPN’s David Schoenfield tried to make that case when he analyzed the player from each team who should be traded.
"“Mejia’s path to being a starting catcher isn’t clear, especially given how much the Indians love Gomes’ defense. Mejia has bounced back in Triple-A from a terrible start, but the bat looks merely good more than special right now. The Indians haven’t won a World Series since 1948. Mejia for Machado?”"
Tribe fans should be open to moving Mejia if it makes the club better, but the organization has to do better than a three-month rental. Perhaps the Indians are looking at acquiring one of Baltimore’s relievers who happens to be under contract for a couple more seasons. That makes moving Mejia much more palatable.
But what if the Indians have a plan for Mejia?
There’s been talk of the prospect playing in the outfield, but that talk mostly centered on left field.
And then I saw the Columbus Clippers’ lineup right before the Triple-A All-Star break.
Mejia was playing right right field and after checking in on some old lineups, it wasn’t his first stint there.
If you’re Indians manager Terry Francona, there are obviously concerns about putting Mejia behind the plate, just because of how good Gomes and Perez are defensively. Plus, there’s something to be said for handling the pitching staff. Gomes and Perez are on the same page as the Tribe’s starters. There’s no need to mess with the chemistry.
Offensively, Gomes is handling the stick OK. He’s not the Silver Slugger award winner we saw in 2013, but he’s batting .251 with nine homers and a .762 OPS. Combine that with his defense, and you’ll live with it.
So, wonder after all the talk around Manny Machado, or possible adding an outfielder, Cleveland simply promotes Mejia as their big trade deadline addition.
Heck, Manny Ramirez played right field for the Tribe. Mejia couldn’t be much worse.
Mejia’s stick is too good to leave at Columbus as the Indians contend for the pennant. He hits from both sides of the plate, which adds balance to the lineup. Francona also has the luxury of batting him lower in the order.
Right field is open because Lonnie Chisenhall can’t stay health (calf) and Brandon Guyer has been disappointing. Tyler Naquin has also been frustrating to watch in the outfield after coming off the disabled list.
It will be interesting to watch Clippers games as the MLB trade deadline nears. Will Mejia get more looks in right field as he auditions for The Show? It’s certainly a storyline to watch.