Year after year, Indians fans hear rumors about the Tribe being involved in some type of "block buster" deal that somehow falls through. We never exactly know who was involved or what other teams were talking, but at the end of the day the roster looks the same. So far, this off season has been much different for the Cleveland Indians since their 2007 run at the World Series.
The Terry Francona signing was a great surprise for many fans, but was expected to be the first and only big signing or move made by the front office with their usual minor league "depth" additions. The thought then was that Francona would use his baseball teaching skills and get the best out of whatever was left over.
The Indians so far have solved their first base hole with free agent Mark Reynolds, who adds some pop and more importantly a legitimate right handed stick.
Late last night, they finalized a deal including the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamond Backs. The key pieces involved for each team were the Reds receiving outfielder Shin-Soo Choo from the Tribe, the D Backs acquiring short stop prospect Didi Gregorius from the Reds, and the Indians receiving top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer from the D Backs.
Bauer was the third overall selection in the 2011 draft by Arizona, and is only 21 years old.
Cleveland also received Drew Stubbs from the Reds, who was a former first round pick of theirs. Stubbs has great speed, and is a great defensive outfielder with some pop. Stubbs has really struggled with his approach at the plate leading to a poor average every year. We will see if Francona can fix his average, but either way a respectable addition to the Tribe.
After two positive moves made by the Indians thus far, I would not be surprised if the Indians made another significant move or two. We are still waiting on the decision of free agent outfielder Nick Swisher who would provide another power bat to the Indians lineup.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Vinnie Pestano, or Chris Perez could be the next to go. Regardless, Cleveland has already accomplished more than most thought was possible.
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