Cleveland Indians: Tribe has assets to trade, especially middle infielders

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians are losing grip on the race in the AL Central, and the club will have to decide whether it wants to trade assets such as Cesar Hernandez and Eddie Rosario

The 2021 campaign always felt like a “find out about” year, as the Tribe has used the current campaign to find out if a particular player could produce.

While Cleveland could trade someone off their roster later this month, the organization could also add some help for the near-future.

Just take a look at the stockpile Chris Antonetti has created at the middle-infield position.

First off, he flipped the year remaining on Francisco Lindor’s contract for Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez. Rosario has taken control of the job this season, but Andres Gimenez has been hot at Triple-A.

Perhaps the Indians permanently move Rosario to center field and Gimnez takes short. Gimenez is under club control through 2025, so potentially, Cleveland has its shortstop for the next three seasons.

That leaves room to deal. Tyler Freeman, the Tribe’s No.2. ranked prospect, will certainly draw attention. I don’t see the Tribe dealing him. They signed him to sizable contract when taking him in the second round of the 2017 draft. The organization has put in the work to develop him. It looks like second base will be open next season, which paves the way for Freeman.

Here’s a look at other potential candidates stuck in the Tribe’s middle-infield log jam. Keep in mind–there’s a Rule-5 draft, which means the Tribe will have to place player they want to protect on the 40-man roster. With their middle-infield crop maturing to the big leagues in some cases, and with some of their prospects advancing a littler further in the minors, a team might just snatch one up.

Here’s a look at middle infielders the Tribe could put in a trade that a receiving team should be thrilled to get.

Owen Miller SS, 2B: The early returns on MIller’s first go-round at the MLB level weren’t great, but he was hitting over .400 at Triple A before his promotion. As we’ve seen, he’s capable of playing outfield and first base, well. Currently ranked as the 16th best prospect in the system by MLB Pipeline.

Ernie Clement: At 25, Clement should be ripening for an extended look in the big leagues. He spent 2019 with the Class AAA Clippers, but then lost on 2020. He was batting .298 with Columbus before being promoted.

Gabriel Arias, SS: He was picked up from the Padres in the deal that sent Mike Clevinger to San Diego and is currently ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the organization, per MLB Pipeline.

Brayan Rocchio, SS: One of a trio of super signees during the 2017 international signings, Rocchio is playing in high A ball this season. He’s batting .246 (.715 OPS)  in 45 games with the Captains. Currently ranked as the No. 7 prospect.

Aaron Bracho, 2B: The 8th ranked prospect was also apart of the 2017 international class. He’s really struggling with Class A+ Lake County. He’s batting .193 with 53 strikeouts in 145 at-bats.

dark. Next. Sun setting on 2021 Tribe

Gabriel Rodriguez, SS/3B: The 19-year-old is batting just above .220 for Class A Lynchburg,