Indians: Cleveland needs to consider making a big trade with the Pirates

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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The Indians should consider one massive trade with the Pirates.

We’ve talked about before how the Cleveland Indians need to avoid making big swings in the trade market this season due to the lack of depth among the Double and Triple-A clubs. That still stands true, as most trade scenarios offer very little in return for major names. Guys like Trevor Story would cost an arm and a leg and only be in town for three months. That’s not worth the risk.

An article by Sports Illustrated’s subsite, Cleveland Baseball Insider, suggests the Indians go and make a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The two names listed, which we’ll get to, are viable options if not completely unremarkable. They can stabilize a team but won’t make a dramatic impact.

So what changed? Firstly, the injury to Josh Naylor. An injury like that never comes without some sort of long-term recovery; even past when he’s cleared to play. Gordon Hayward is only now looking like the guy he was pre-injury and that was three-plus years ago. Secondly, opportunity. The Pirates have a guy who both upgrades the Indians’ offense and counts as a long-term option. If you have four+ years of control over a guy, you can make an adjustment.

This is a deal that improves the team not just for this year or next, but for a few years down the line.

The Pirates have one player worth trading more than a few prospects for. It also just so happens that the other two players could probably be had as throw-in pieces.

The Indians have three big holes to fill right now and the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates have three players who happen to fit those holes. Usually trades like we’re about to propose aren’t doable simply because of age, competition, or salary. That’s not the case here, as all three players we’re looking at from the Pirates are getting older. The youngest is 26, and worth dropping a huge name or two for, while the others are 29 and 31.

By the time the Pirates are ready to compete, it could be two or three years, and that young 26-year-old isn’t as young and would be nearing the end of his contract. Let’s also be frank, the Pirates have just had four winning seasons since 1993. This isn’t a well-run organization and with a payroll similar to the Indians, Cleveland fans should look at the Pirates as what happens when you don’t have good ownership and management.