The Cleveland Indians need outfield help, and a slew of outfielders, including Cincinnati Reds’ CF Billy Hamilton are on the Tribe’s radar.
Oh how bad can the Cleveland Indians outfield get? Shall I count the ways?
Adam Jones‘ name has been thrown around in trade rumors, and talk of acquiring the Baltimore Orioles’ center fielder won’t go away until he’s moved.
But there’s also some new names on the Tribe’s radar. according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, these are the names to watch for.
1. Cincinnati Reds’ CF Billy Hamilton.
Hamilton is basically an older version of 2018 Bradley Zimmer. Can’t hit a lick, but he’ll shore up center field defensively. Plus, if he gets on base, lookout, he’s stealing. That could be huge come postseason time.
2. Miami Marlins OF Derek Dietrich
The 29-year-old product of St. Ignatius High School would kind of mirror the Tribe’s move to acquire Brandon Guyer two years ago.
The obvious difference: Guyer is a right-hander who plays primary against lefties. Dietrich is a lefty who plays primarily against right handers.
With that said, Dietrich has been very good against righties, batting .296 (.824 OPS). Against lefties, he’s posted a .719 OPS (about average).
Dietrich’s salary also makes him an intriguing option as he’s making $2.9 million this season. He’s 28, and won’t be a free agent until 2021.
3. Toronto Blue Jays OF: Curtis Granderson
He’s a three-time All-Star who’s six years removed from the mid-summer classic, so at age 37, you kind of know what you’re getting in the veteran.
He’s batting .231 (.756 OPS) with 10 homers and 31 RBIs.
The Tribe already has a veteran outfield presence in Rajai Davis. Not sure how Granderson provides the dramatic upgrade the outfield needs.
Cleveland’s big move could be making a trade with the division-rival Minnesota Twins, who are apparently shopping former All-Star Brian Dozier.
Acquiring Dozier is a no-brainer. Get him and plug him in at second base. He’s going to hit around .220-.240, but he’s going to provide power. He’s hit 16 home runs already, and will end the year with around 28.
His acquisition would allow the Indians to move Jason Kipnis to the outfield, which is a position The JK Kid played last season.
Moving Kipnis from second base to either center or right field is something the Indians are seriously considering, according to Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto.
I’m not sure how much of an improvement moving Kipnis to the outfield would be, as he’s batting just .230 in July and .219 on the season. He does have a .806 OPS for July, which was very surprising.
Beltre has a no-trade close and makes a ton of money, so easier said than done.
Adding Adam Jones to the outfield, in addition to Dietrich, who can help in right field, would make the club far better than they are now.
With that said, the Indians have already traded their No.1 prospect for relievers Brand Hand and Adam Cimber.
It shouldn’t cost a lot to acquire Beltre, Jones, or Dietrich, but making that many deals before the July 31 MLB trade deadline would be surprising.