The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Deadline passes

Posted by disappointmentzone on 31 July 2006

Full of bluster and innocuous fury the MLB non-waver trade deadline has passed. The Indians have been quite active this trading period. In case you got lost in the whirlwind, here is a quick guide to who’s new, who’s gone, and how we got here.

Gone are Bob Wickman, Ben Broussard, Eduardo Perez, Jason Johnson, and Ronnie Belliard.

New are PTBNL, Asdrubal Cabrera, Maxamiliano Remirez, Shin-Soo Choo, and Hector Luna.

How did we get here?

Johnson was the first to go. He was traded to Boston for a PTBNL. Even if Boston sends Ted Williams’s frozen head it will still hold more promise for future major-league success than Johnson.

Then Eduardo Perez was traded to Seattle for Asdrubal Cabrera and a phonetic guide to curious Latin names. Cabrera is only 20 years old and already playing in AAA Buffalo. He is a whiz in the field and can play both SS and 2B. Plus he’s one of the five youngest players in AAA. Cabrera probably won’t be playing in Cleveland for a couple of years–he has to learn to hit first–but given that he’s only 20 years old that isn’t a problem. Did I mention he’s young?

Following Perez out of town was Wickman, who went to Atlanta for Maxamiliano Ramirez. Ramirez is a single A catcher. Wickman is a veteran closer with only about 30 more innings in his right arm. There is a lot to say about this deal but those last two sentences pretty much sum up everything that can be said.

On Wickman’s heels went Broussard as part of a massive undertaking on Seattle’s behalf to reunite Benuardo for at least the remainder of the season, if not eternity. In return Seattle sent Shin-Soo Choo who, along with Asdrubal and Maxamiliano, complete the rare single-season trifeca of newly-acquired players with unusual names. In his first game as an Indians Choo hit a game-winning home run. He’s also fast and has a strong arm. Don’t listen to Roger Brown quote anonymous NL scouts about Choo being a singles hitter with an average arm. Brown was born unhappy.

Finally we have Belliard, who was traded to the Cardinals in exchange for two-time Indian Hector Luna. Luna is only 26 (or 24…or Danny Almonte) and comes cheap for the next few seasons. Belliard, 31, is old and will command more money as a free agent this offseason than the Indians will be willing to pay him. Luna is entering (slowly? finally?) his prime and, depending on how he is used in combination with Joe Inglett, could contribute positively on offense over the next two months, although Luna’s prime might not be too bright and without the safety of a platoon partner his offensive weaknesses might become more glaring. Defensively he’s an upgrade over Belliard and as such could easily endear himself to fans by playing quality defense and hustling. The Indians already have more than their fair share of quality hitters, but have a poor defense. Luna could do a lot by doing just a little (play defense).

And so we have it. Aaron Boone is still an Indian and rumors of Jake Westbrook’s departure seem to have been greatly exaggerated.


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