It is time for the Cleveland Indians to quit playing it safe and add a star at the trade deadline.
As the hours are dwindling down to the 4 PM trade deadline, the Cleveland Indians cannot sit and be content with what they have in the outfield. Although the front office is working the phones, there is a big difference between discussing deals and actually making them, especially those that aren’t just for an average player.
The biggest name Cleveland is linked to is Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper. Harper, a free agent at the end of the season, could be that player who gets the Tribe over the hump.
There is no guarantee a trade will be finalized but if Cleveland were to include pitcher Shane Bieber, something MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported has not happened yet, then a deal could be closer.
Washington is a very disappointing team this season given the expectations that were set on them to begin with. They very well could lose their face of the franchise for nothing than a draft pick. Why sell themselves short?
Cleveland has prospects to deal and while it is nice to envision what could be in 2020 and beyond, let’s focus on now. Teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and so on makes moves to win World Series and nothing less. They don’t worry about prospects. Their priority is championships.
The Indians need to have that same mentality because holding onto prospects don’t help. Those players could be something but that is far from a certainty. Remember when they kept Jared Wright instead of trading him to the Montreal Expos in a deal for Pedro Martinez? Look how that played out.
While Bieber is a good, young pitcher with potential, they have others. Besides, Cleveland would still more than likely be keeping fellow pitcher and top prospect Triston McKenzie anyways. That said, who cares Harper is only going to be a rental if and when Cleveland makes the deal. Although Harper has just a 0.4 WAR and a .220 average, he is still on track to have exceeded recent stats totals if he has not already.
Rather than being content with coming up just short of making it to the World Series, Cleveland needs to go out and add Harper. The former first overall pick would not be in Cleveland long but he would be a key piece in the lineup to get the Tribe their first championship in decades!
Seeing Harper dealt is unlikely, there is no doubt about that. However, sometimes it is necessary to take the risk and make the nontraditional move. Given the condition of the outfield with multiple injuries and inconsistent play, why not add a player like Harper? At least we know he’d be in the lineup all of the time. Should a deal get extremely close, hopefully ownership does not reject the offer.
Cleveland has nothing to lose. While the focus should be adding Harper, if they somehow fall short and cannot add someone such as Andrew McCutchen, the postseason run could be like last season regardless of how good the pitching is.