With the Winter Meetings complete, let the trade rumors start flying and, lest you think I'm talking about the Indians acquiring a 3B or a SP or a RP via trade...no, the rumors come in the form of other teams having interest in current Indians, with widespread interest in Carmona being the bigger news:
Greinke, of course, is the The Name among starters on the trade market right now. But sources indicated to FOXSports.com today that it’s possible even more teams have asked the Cleveland Indians about Carmona. If, for example, the Yankees are unsure of Greinke’s desire to pitch in New York, then Carmona could become a very appealing option. Similarly, the Texas Rangers could turn to Carmona if they are wary of the Kansas City Royals’ high price on Greinke. One major-league source with close knowledge of Carmona’s market said the Indians aren’t eager to move him but are in a “listen and explore” mode because of the heavy interest following the Cliff Lee signing.
Carmona is signed to a more favorable contract, in terms of cost and flexibility: $6.1 million in 2011, followed by team options worth $7 million, $9 million and $12 million in the subsequent three seasons, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Greinke, meanwhile, will earn $13.5 million in each of the next two seasons.
With that contract (that contains those club options from 2012 to 2014 with little to no risk assumed by the Indians after this year) and Fausto's position as the de-facto “ace” of the staff, I could understand the team's hesitance to move him. If, however, a team like the Rangers or the Yankees, both of whom were burned considerably by the Lee-to-Philly decision, is ready to overreact and offer some players that could be added to the Indians FOR THE 2011 SEASON and who would represent significant upgrades over in-house options, I don't see how you don't listen.
Don't just think that other teams are looking at the Tribe's rotation and getting ideas though as this comes from Boston:
On the trade front, they would love to deal for Justin Masterson and put him in the role he had with the Sox before the Victor Martinez deal. Very effective in that role where he can pitch two or three innings and dominate righties. The Tribe have been reluctant to move him. Joe Smith and Rafael Perez are a couple other Indian relievers who could be on Boston's radar.
Joe Smith and Raffy Perez?
Sure, I'd be OK with moving one of those guys, given their arbitration status and the other arms that are around (notably Sipp for Perez) or coming (Todd, Pestano, and Judy for Smith) as long as the Indians don't make the move just to make the move. As for the Justin Masterson idea, this isn't the first time that we've heard that Boston is enamored with bringing him back in a relief role, which is where he still could end up at some point with the Tribe.
Given his youth, his second-half performance and his club-control, it would take quite a bit to get me to bite on moving Masterson.
The Hot Stove in Cleveland...where we always feel burned.
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