The trade deadline has taken on a different feel for the Cleveland Indians. Terry Francona’s club played a nice series before the All-Star break against the Royals, and then after against the A’s.
Now, as the Houston swoon continues, we’re all being reminded that while the Tito’s done an admirable job keeping the Tribe above .500, this club isn’t a serious contender. Cleveland was 8.0 games behind Chicago entering July 21, and the Astros, a true contender, had beaten the Indians six games in a row.
All the signs are indicating the Tribe won’t be in “win now” mode when the Trade deadline expires, which makes The Athletic’s Jim Bowden’s suggestion, that the Tribe trade for Rangers slugger Joey Gallo moot.
Bowden contends that Gallo would help improve the team’s outfield play, and he’s right. That said, Gallo’s contract doesn’t really mesh with what the Tribe is trying to accomplish. Gallo will enter his final season of arbitration in 2022, and is set to hit free agency in 2023.
In essence, he’d be a rental in a season that’s quickly going down the tubes.
Let’s say the Tribe wins some games before July 31, though. A trade still wouldn’t make sense. Cleveland would only have Gallo until 2023, and it’s not this front office’s MO to let guys walk.
Bowden also threw out the name of Seattle’s Mitch Haniger. He’d probably be cheaper, but he has the same of control as Gallo.
I don’t expect the Indians to stay silent at the trade deadline. Perhaps they could get something for Cesar Hernandez and/or Eddie Rosario. Perhaps Chis Antonetti and Mike Chernoff start trading some of those middle infield assets that will have to be crammed onto the 40-man roster this winter.
In return, the Tribe wants players who are in the situation Franmil Reyes was in back in 2019. At the time, Reyes was playing in the big leagues and ejoying success with the Padres. Cleveland got him, a player under club control through the 2024 season.