Indians make trade with Dodgers for Justin Sellers
The Cleveland Indians today announced they have acquired infielder Justin Sellers from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations. To allow room on the 40-man roster they have designated first baseman David Cooper for assignment.
Sellers, 28, has appeared in 82 games for the Dodgers over the last three seasons (2011-2013), splitting 2013 between Triple-A Albuquerque and LA hitting .270 (88-326) for the Isotopes with 26 doubles, 4 triples, 6 home runs and 65 RBI in 89 games (.755OPS). The versatile infielder has appeared in 608 games at shortstop, 170 games at second and 35 games at third base over his minor league career and 50 games at short, 15 at second and 13 at third base with the Dodgers.
The Cal State Fullerton alum began his professional career in 2005 with the Oakland Athletics after being selected in the sixth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. He was later traded to the Chicago Cubs in February 2009 and acquired by the Dodgers organization later that spring.
I do not think the Tribe sees Ramirez as a SS, needs Ramirez to be a SS, or even wants Ramirez to be a SS. There's just no way he's going to be a major league regular at that position. They know that he has a (small) chance to be a major league regular at 2B, and at this point in time, that's obviously where his highest value is, to the Tribe or in a trade.
He also may not progress enough to be a regular in Cleveland, and if that happens he'll be groomed as a utility inf, but they're not going there yet IMO. They also don't see Rodriguez as ready to play in AAA, so they bring in players like Sellers who can play SS at Columbus. Johnson either makes the team or is let go to find another ML job.
As for the pickup of Sellers, this to me is simply a pickup for Columbus and a depth option if the Indians lose any of Cabrera, Aviles or Johnson (I am predicting Johnson as on the team). With Ramirez delayed any quite possibly not available to start the season, he is filling Ramirez's depth role that he would have had at the start of the season in Columbus.
Another thought here, is maybe the Tribe is building depth intentionally...to fortify the MIF in case they look to make a trade from their MIF depth later.
Doesn't seem like Cooper would be a option for the Tribe at 1b anyway. Although I am a little surprised he was the first to be DFA'd. Santana and Raburn could see at bats there, plus Aguilar seems to have forced the issue with a strong winter. Then there's David Adams who might be able to play a little on either corner.
Certainly, it must be something significant, as I don't think they'd make a trade and allow Cooper to be DFAed just to add a guy that would have no influence or impact- something's developed, probably along at least one of those two lines (or maybe an undisclosed injury to one of the others- Johnson, Adams, etc.)
More light might be shed on this soon- certainly interesting. I'd be curious as to whether he has options left, etc- thanks!
I think Aquliar might have passed Cooper in pecking order and the reason for DFA.