Cleveland Indians: Tribe Ships Aaron Laffey to Seattle for INF Matt Lawson

Jim McCarthy, Jr.Correspondent IMarch 3, 2011

The Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners have yet again swapped players in a trade that sends LHP Aaron Laffey to the West Coast for INF prospect Matt Lawson.

Laffey, 25, went 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA (55.2IP, 62H, 30R/28ER, 28BB, 28K) in 29 games, including five starts for the Tribe in 2010.

Once considered a future mainstay in the Indians starting rotation, Laffey seemed unable to find any consistency as a starter with his time in Cleveland. You may remember Laffey's strong performance in the 2007 ALCS against the eventual World Series champs.

Laffey did however show some promise in the Tribe's bullpen, but became expendable with Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez both having strong 2010 campaigns.

Before you let Jim Piascik tell you once again why he is smarter than the Tribe front office, let's look at the trading history between the Tribe and Mariners before jumping to any conclusions here.

  • December 20, 1993: The Mariners send future Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel to the Indians for Felix "The Cat" Fermin, Reggie Jefferson and cash.
  • June 30, 2006: The Tribe trades veteran first baseman Eduardo Perez to the Mariners for prospect Asdrubal Cabrera.
  • July 26, 2006: Shin-Soo Choo is sent from Seattle to the Indians for Ben Broussard and cash.

Seems to me that the Indians have had a great history in stealing some excellent players from the Mariner organization with giving up next to nothing in return.

Will history repeat itself with the recent acquisition of Matt Lawson?

Only time will tell, but when looking at Lawson's career numbers in the minors, he has been impressive.

The Springfield, Mo., native owns a career minor league average of .283 (431-1522) with 233 runs scored, 77 doubles, 15 triples, 27HR and 165RBI in 405 games, covering four seasons. In 2009, while at Bakersfield, he was named to the California League All-Star team and following the season was named as the Best Defensive Second Baseman in the California League by Baseball America while belting a career-high 10 HR to go along with a .293 average.

Lawson, 25, split the 2010 season between AA Frisco (Texas) and AA West Tennessee (Seattle) batting a combined .293 (134-458) with 75 runs scored, 26 doubles, seven triples, nine HR and 56RBI (.372 OBP, .439 SLG, .811 OPS) in 118 games.

Sure, this trade doesn't make you want to run out to your closest Indians team shop, but the three previous trades I cited didn't either.

April is now in sight and if you're a diehard Tribe fan, you can't help but get excited about all the young talent the Tribe has infused into their system recently.

How that talent transitions into the big leagues is another story. In Cleveland, we know this all too well.