The Cleveland Indians have traded away utility infielder Mike Freeman to the Reds and are currently shopping around Billy Hamilton as well.
The Indians have decided it’s time to move on from a few veterans during this spring training. In what could be a sign that the Tribe wants to roll with someone like Yu Chang as a utility bench player, the Indians have traded away infielder Mike Freeman to the Reds for cash. Freeman plays second and third base mostly, two positions Chang is quite well suited for. The Indians have also made a decision about Billy Hamilton.
Hamilton was invited to camp on a minor league roster with an invite to camp, with the hopes that he could turn around his career. Hamilton, one of the most feared base-stealers in his prime, has seen a lot of his more recent years hindered by injuries. The Indians have already decided that Hamilton won’t make the roster, and the Indians are looking to shop him around and see who’s interested.
The Indians’ outfield depth hasn’t been good since the Michael Brantley/Lonnie Chissenhall days, and the decision to move on from Hamilton has to be a sign that the brass is high on their younger guys.
For Freeman, he was hitting .333 at the plate so far through spring training, while Hamilton was just hitting .100.
With these decisions made, Cleveland will clearly look to break camp with a youthful crop of players in the outfield and infield. It’s probably a sign as well that Bradley Zimmer will get one more crack at the major leagues.
The 28-year-old is the obvious replacement for Hamilton, as they are (or at least were) speedy base runners who can play solid defense. Zimmer is hitting a nice .429 during spring training, though he’s yet to have an extra-base hit so far in 14 at-bats.
Not disastrous by any means, but Chang already has three home runs in about the same span.