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Storylines: Cleveland, others looking at Benoit

Storylines: Cleveland, others looking at Benoit
Joaquin Benoit (Photo: USA Today)
July 21, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

Here are the stories from Sunday, July 20th.

Tribe News

  • According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Indians, Pirates, and Tigers are all showing interest in trading for reliever Joaquin Benoit of the Padres, but San Diego may be reluctant to deal him.

Others News and Notes

  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote that the Mariners aren't scared off by the fact that David Price won't guarantee that he will sign a contract extension if he is traded, although some teams are.
  • Cafardo also reported that the Phillies have been underwhelmed so far with the offers they have received for Cole Hamels.
  • Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told Jim Bowden of ESPN that he is looking to acquire a middle of the order bat and not an injury risk type of player. According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Cincinnati has shown interest in Philadelphia outfielder Marlon Byrd, as well as reliever Antonio Bastardo.
  • Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported that the Royals also have interest in trading for Byrd, although it's not clear right now if Kansas City will be buyers.
  • Morosi also said that the Blue Jays are interested in San Diego outfielder Chris Denorfia.
  • The Mets designated pitcher Buddy Carlyle for assignment to make room on the roster for the return of starter Jon Niese.
  • According to John Hickey of IBABuzz.com, the Athletics would like to trade reliever Jim Johnson before the trade deadline, but are having trouble finding any teams interested in dealing for the former Orioles closer.
  • The Marlins agreed to a Minor League deal with Dustin Moseley, who last appeared in the Majors in 2012 with the Padres.
  • Former Indians first-round pick Trevor Crowe was released from the Tigers Triple-A affiliate.

User Comments

homer
July 21, 2014 - 5:35 PM EDT
I'd like to see them keep JRam, I think he offers a unique piece off the bench. I can see him sliding into Aviles' role. Aviles starting next yr, while the Indians manage Lindors mlb clock.

I'd still listen on ACab...don't have to deal him.

I'd definitely love to see Steve Cishek with the chief on his shoulder.
Tony
July 21, 2014 - 4:38 PM EDT
I think it is very likely that Aviles opens the starting SS and Ramirez the utility guy with Lindor in Columbus until the service time issues and such are ironed out. Of course, provided Ramirez is not dealt for a need....
Tondo
July 21, 2014 - 4:32 PM EDT
I know Tony. I was just comparing him to Aviles, who neither is an everyday SS, so the only difference between JRam and Aviles is the experience and mentoring part. Or is Aviles that much better as a SS than JRam? Both scenarios were with Lindor on the roster. Not sure Lindor needs the mentoring though, as his makeup is off the charts by any report on him out there. It's not that he's Brandon Philips.

Only way JRam replaces Aviles next season is if the Indians need the extra 3mil they'd save in a switch. Could even be that JRam takes ACab's roster spot with Lindor in Columbus to start off the season until he's ready. Then, depending of performance any scenario is possible: Lindor + JRam with Aviles trade or Lindor + Aviles with JRam sent down etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like all 3 of them to be still in the org next year, that's probably the best case scenario, but I'd rather trade Aviles too early (and think about vet SS later) than lose JRam too early (and regret it). I guess my point is, Aviles should not be the reason to feel free to trade JRam.
Tony
July 21, 2014 - 4:03 PM EDT
Ramirez can be a utility guy....but yeah, the Indians need a veteran middle infielder to tag up with Lindor....not another youthful one. Also, again, Ramirez is not really an everyday option at shortstop. I don't know why so many people keep mentioning this. He can play there when needed but not daily.
Tondo
July 21, 2014 - 3:55 PM EDT
I think JRam can deliver similarly to Aviles next season, both defensively and with the bat, but of course he would lack the mentoring part.
Moot point, as Aviles probably has more value to the Indians than anything he'd fetch in return. Another season as depth at AAA won't hurt JRam, who can take over permanently for Aviles in 2016. Hopefully he doesn't get traded until then, as I'm very high on him and think he's somewhat underrated among Tribe fans, even as a top 5-10 spec. A lot of people take him for granted, but his ascension and mastering of any level they throw him into, along with his defensive versatility, is nothing short of amazing. We're talking about a guy who is the same age as Papi and Zimmer and who improved his numbers significantly while jumping from AA to AAA and who jumped A+ completely before that, with all of 300 ABs at LC.
To me, he is pretty much the bat version of Kyle Crockett in the system and I hope he remains an Indian, as I think he's much more than just a utility infielder.
Walter
July 21, 2014 - 3:53 PM EDT
I dont see much trade action before the deadline. With the wild card, there are too many teams still in the hunt. More buyers than there are sellers. The sellers are asking for a lot for players that are average to above average at best.

The Rays are going to keep Price because the AL East is wide open.

Tony
July 21, 2014 - 2:18 PM EDT
I can't see Aviles being dealt. He is a good fit as a stop gap shortstop in Cleveland while Lindor learns the ropes. If the Indians deem Lindor not ready to start the season in Cleveland next season or want to manage his service clock they will need a solid, inexpensive, reliable option for shortstop who also is versatile where he can be the utility man once Lindor comes up. A guy who accepts that role and would be fine being a mentor.
Tondo
July 21, 2014 - 2:10 PM EDT
Makes no sense. No way the Indians add a 37yo reliever who will make 8mil next season.

ACab can only be traded if they're out of it, as it would send a bad message throughout the clubhouse. Aviles should be made available though, if they can get a decent prospect in return. He is signed through next season and his versatility has more value to NL teams, so there's some value.

The SP targets the Indians should target are Niese or Gee from the Mets or Collmenter from the D'backs. Controllable, steady performers. Niese would be the best fit as a LHP, but also the most expensive in terms of return package, but he could be as effective as D.Price at a lower cost.
homer
July 21, 2014 - 12:48 PM EDT
Steve Cishek May be available. I don't doubt the Tribe would like to add Beniot, they were linked to him in the off-season.

There's also been rumors the Giants and Mariners have checked in on ACab and Aviles. I'd be willing to listen on ACab, he's not a make or break player for this lineup. Turning that bench spot over to Sellers or JRam doesn't seen likely at this point.
shy
July 21, 2014 - 12:18 PM EDT
The Indians are not going to trade for Benoit. They are overweight in pen arms as it is. Furthermore I believe the fact that CC Lee and Austin Adams were called up now may indicate that they could be available and that other teams may be interested in them. You need a long guy, a set up guy, a couple of lefties and a closer- right now the Indians are carrying double that- makes no sense esp when you have a guy starting in right field hitting .230 and 2 other starters at DH and 1B hitting .200. That's where they need the help. You can bring in Benoit as another set up guy, but there's not much to set up if the Indians don't produce runs. I don't think Murphy should have started yesterday- you put Aviles in the outfield, Chisenhall at third against Smyly and Gomes at first w Perez behind the plate. You know Tomlin's gonna throw some flies and you need to score 4-5 runs to win the game. I think they need to send Lee and Adams back down and bring up Holt or Carson and Ramirez while they're looking for outside help.

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