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Cleveland Indians LHP Aaron Laffey Traded to the Seattle Mariners for Prospect

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 19:  Starting pitcher Aaron Laffey #32 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Texas Rangers during the MLB spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 19, 2010 in Surprise, Arizona. The Indians defeated the Rangers 12-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Dave MarinoContributor IMarch 3, 2011

The Cleveland Indians traded left-handed pitcher Aaron Laffey to the Seattle Mariners for 25-year-old minor league second baseman Matt Lawson.

Just one year ago, second base looked like a weakness for the Indians after it was decided that Asdrubal Cabrera would move to shortstop. Since that time, veterans Orlando Cabrera and Adam Everett have been signed to one year deals.

Also, prospects Jayson Nix, Jason Donald, Luis Valbuena and Jason Kipnis have entered the second base picture.

On Wednesday, the Indians acquired more depth by adding Matt Lawson.

Lawson split the 2010 season between Double-A Frisco (Texas) and Double-A West Tennessee (Seattle), batting a combined .293 (134-458) with a .372 OBP, 26 doubles, nine homers and 56 RBI in 118 games.

Lawson was selected to minor league All-Star games in each of the past two seasons. He was named the best defensive second baseman in the California League by Baseball America in 2009.

Lawton was one of four prospects that the Mariners acquired last year in the Cliff Lee trade.

In four seasons with the Indians, Laffey was 18-21 with a 4.41 ERA and 1.52 WHIP.

With Laffey gone, it looks like Jeanmar Gomez and Josh Tomlin will battle it out for the fifth spot in the rotation.

I wouldn't take this trade as an indicator that the Indians are still interested in Kevin Millwood. Millwood just rejected a minor league deal from the New York Yankees. I doubt the Indians want to create another roster spot by adding him. I also don't think they want to give a major league deal to a 36-year-old that went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA and 1.51 WHIP last year.

Laffey is expected to compete for the fifth starter spot or as a long reliever for the Mariners. The comfort level that Seattle's new Manager Eric Wedge (former Indians Manager) has with Laffey probably played a part in the trade.

“With Aaron, we felt we had the opportunity to acquire a left-handed pitcher with major league experience,” Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said. “We will bring him to spring training and give him a chance to compete for a position on our pitching staff.”

Early Winner: Cleveland. The Indians added a two-time minor league All-Star that can play defense. If Laffey was going to make an impact with the Indians, it would have been in 2009 and 2010 when their starting rotation was at its weakest.

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