Even as the Cleveland Indians wrap up their best month of the 2019 season, they still need to find a trade for pitcher Trevor Bauer.
The Cleveland Indians still have incentive to trade Trevor Bauer, despite a winning June that’s seen the Tribe go 16-8.
Even after two embarrassing losses to the Baltimore Orioles, the Tribe is 16-8 this month. Even so, the Cleveland Indians are still far behind the Twins in the Central standings, and the Tribe’s actually LOST ground in the chase for the Wild Card.
MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince recently wrote about what the Tribe’s hot month has meant to the Indians moving forward in 2019 after the All-Star break.
Castrovince contends Trevor Bauer is still a candidate to be traded before the MLB trade deadline July 31 and the Indians may be able to pull off what the Rays did last season when they dealt Chris Archer. In return for Archer, Tampa landed some young, MLB-ready help.
Trading Bauer is sure to draw confused emotions among the Tribe fan base. Whether they make the postseason or not, the Tribe is contention. How will it be perceived if the always fiscally conservative Indians move Bauer.
On the flip side, Bauer’s value will never be higher than it is right now because he can impact two pennant races. If the Indians wait until the offseason, his value will drop because his new team will only have him for one season.
Fortunately for the Indians, Zach Plesac, minus a rough outing in Baltimore, has been a pleasant surprise. He makes it easier for the Tribe to move Bauer now, rather than wait for the offseason because it looks like he’ll be able to win some games.
Castrovince also brought up Brad Hand‘s name. The Tribe closer would be Uber-valuable on the track block because there’s so much demand for elite relief pitching.
Plus, Hand’s under contract for two more years after the conclusion of this season.
If the Indians are blown away by a deal, they absolutely need to look at moving their closer. That will surely spell doom for the 2019 playoff chances, but if the right move is made, the Tribe could squarely be back in the contention picture in 2020.
The Indians have someone in the minor leagues who might be able to close now in James Karinchak. He just got to Columbus and has only pitched in three games, recording eight strikeouts in those eight innings, by the way.
For Class AA, he had 10 saves while opposing batters hit .061.
This isn’t to say the Indians would put him in the closer’s role immediately, but you can definitely see which way his career is trending.
Plus, when it comes to trading Hand, look no further than Andrew Miller. The star of the 2016 playoff run is being paid $11 million from the Cardiacs and he has a -0.3 WAR. Yes, a WAR in the negative!
You just never know with relievers, which is why the Indians should be open to moving Hand.