Tribe Making Trades: Breaking Down All of Mark Shapiro's Moves

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IJuly 26, 2008

A flurry of moves from Mark Shapiro and the Cleveland Indians can make you feel like you are looking for a white hat in a snow storm.

The hat is hard to find, and you’re left looking in all the wrong places.

Today, the Indians made several trades and even more corresponding roster moves. Trying to make sense of them all is a tough task, but fear not, for I believe I have the answers.

The big move is the trade of Casey Blake to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return, the Indians receive catcher Carlos Santana and pitcher Jonathan Meloan.

Casey Blake will be missed from a fan standpoint. His sportsmanship and his give-it-your all attitude made him stand out. He was never one to complain and he was always willing to go ahead and change a position for the better of the team.

I'll miss his dry-humor and dead-pan jokes, but this was a move that had to be made for the betterment of the team. Blake returning also isn't out of the realm of possibility. He loves the city that took a chance on him when his career was in doubt, and if a utility man is needed, Shapiro might not look any further than bringing him back.

In return, Meloan gives the Indians an arm that is close to Major League ready. He's a 24-year-old right handed pitcher who's spent the year in the rotation. However, Meloan was primarily a bullpen option for the Dodgers up until 2008.

The most intriguing stat that Meloan carries is his career strikeout numbers. In 262 career minor league innings, Meloan has struck out 335 hitters. In his brief stint with the Dodgers last year, he struck out seven hitters in seven innings of work. But, he gave up nine runs in just five games.

Jon Meloan could very well be moved back to the bullpen by the Indians organization because of another move they made. It's highly unlikely they leave him in as a starter, considering he is very close to contributing as a reliever. He has a great array of pitches and his fastball-slider combo is devastating.

Carlos Santana doesn't bring his guitar along with him, but he brings a rocket arm. Santana made the move back to the position he came into the Dodgers system as. He moved from third base after the Dodgers realized they had a log-jam at the position.

He isn't quite in the mold of Russell Martin, but he has the athleticism to move back to third in the Indians organization. The biggest thing with Santana is his hitting talents. He is the overall minor league leader in runs batted in this year, and he carries a .318 average with 13 home runs. He doesn't hit for power, but he has the potential to knock in about 20 home runs per season.

The greatest thing about Santana's hitting statistics is his ability to get on base. Even when his average lacks, he still boasts strong walk-to-strikeout numbers, and a high on base percentages.

The Indians were in great need of a bat like Santana's in the minor leagues. He could move to third base as noted, but the biggest advantage for the Tribe is if he’s behind the plate.

In order to do that, you could see a move soon with another catcher in the organization. Matt McBride was recently promoted to Kinston after a long rehab assignment. Kinston is the same level Santana played at, and Akron has Wyatt Toregas who is on the 40 man roster.

A trade of Toregas or a position move for Buffalo catcher Chris Gimenez could be in the works to free up a spot for Santana. Toregas' recent surge at Akron could also merit a call-up to Buffalo if the Tribe decides to move Gimenez to another position. He is after all one of their more athletic prospects who was converted to catcher.

In response to Casey Blake being traded, the Indians called up journeyman utility player Andy Gonzalez up to the big league club. In order to get him on the 40 man roster, they moved Travis Hafner to the 60 day disabled list. Hafner's shoulder will be retested on Monday.

Hafner could still return to the team later this year, as the move is retroactive to May 26. He will be eligible to come off whenever he is ready. This was simply a move to get Gonzalez, Meloan and starter Anthony Reyes on the 40 man roster without releasing anyone.

Anthony Reyes was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Akron closer Luis Perdomo.

The 24-year old Perdomo started the year with Kinston as a closer and he made the Carolina League All-Star game. He was called up to Akron and assumed closing duties after Randy Newsome was called up to Buffalo.

Anthony Reyes will be one of those “change of scenery” type players for the Indians. They already have several in the Buffalo pitching staff, including former first round Pirate, Bryan Bullington, and reliever Zach Jackson, who came in the CC Sabathia trade.

Reyes was optioned to Buffalo, along with Aaron Laffey. The recent struggles of Laffey caused the Indians to fix him sooner rather than later. Had they kept Laffey around, they would have had to expose Matt Ginter to waivers. Fausto Carmona was activated from the 15 day disabled list to take the spot of Laffey.

So, to recap the bevy of moves made by the Indians and update you on what you need to know.

Aaron Laffey and Anthony Reyes go to Buffalo's rotation. Bubbie Buzachero will likely lose his rotation spot and David Huff could get sent down to Akron.

Newly acquired Jon Meloan will most likely be optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, and take the spot of Jeff Stevens, who is will be placed on the inactive list as he heads off to the Olympics to pitch for the United States.

Tony Graffanino will take over at second base for Andy Gonzalez as he gets called up to take the spot of Casey Blake. He is on the 40 man roster as Travis Hafner is moved to the 60 day disabled list.

In the wake of losing Luis Perdomo, Akron will likely use a mix of arms to close out games, but soon could give left- handed Tony Sipp a shot as he tries to rehab. Sipp is currently on the Buffalo disabled list and is in Akron as apart of his rehab assignment.

Carlos Santana's acquisition could signal a trade of Wyatt Toregas or a move of positions from Chris Gimenez. Sanatna will be sent to Kinston for now. However, I'd expect another move soon seeing as how neither Santana or McBride should be a backup.

What can be taken from the amount of moves? One thing I think, is that the Indians have made it pretty clear they want to know what Andy Marte is all about. They've also stocked up on reclaimation projects in the rotation for the coming year. If someone like Reyes hits, it could take a lot of pressure of Shapiro.


    Carlos Carrasco Throwing to 90 Feet

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    Cleveland Indians

    Carlos Carrasco Throwing to 90 Feet


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