Sep 22, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles (3) throws to first base against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Off-Season Central: Cleveland Makes A Trade

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Ah yes, I am back to talk about our divisional opponents. Couple of days ago, the Kansas City Royals made the first off-season move in our division by acquiring pitcher Ervin Santana from the Angels. Today’s move comes courtesy from the very much disliked around these parts Cleveland Indians.

No matter how big or small, I will continue to try and keep people up to speed on these moves. This particular deal is pretty small, but there is some players involved here that people should know.

That being said, I’m not sure what Cleveland was after here. The trade?

Cleveland dealt reliever Emsil Rogers to the Toronto Blue Jays for infielder Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes. Aviles strangely enough, was just acquired by the Jays for their manager in a deal with the Red Sox. Rogers, who is a big armed pitcher out of the bullpen, might still have some value as a starter for the Blue Jays. He was brought up as such in the Colorado Rockies system, before he struggled mightily in that role. Even after a move to the reliever spot, Rogers still continued to struggle. The Rockies gave up on Rogers and shipped him to Cleveland for cash.

Well, the change of scenery did Rogers some good. Rogers posted an ERA of 3.06 with the Tribe, and struck out just over a batter per inning, undoubtedly giving him some value on the trade market this off-season. The Jays and GM Alex Anthopolous seem to like collecting relief pitchers, so this made sense for them.

The Indians do have a deep bullpen that can certainly sustain the loss of Rogers. Many of their better prospects in the upper levels are relief pitchers as well. So let’s take a look at what they got in return and is it going to be a net gain for Cleveland.

It’s hard to see the logic in this deal for the Indians. Not because Aviles doesn’t have some value, he certainly does. But as a guy who has pretty much been a middle infielder his whole life, the Indians don’t have a need on any of the infield spots. I guess he could be used as a super utility player and give breathers to Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis, and Lonnie Chisenhall, but it seems the spots Aviles mainly plays are spoken for. Aviles has done some time in left field, and that is a spot of concern for the Indians, but Aviles doesn’t have the kind of bat you look for in a corner outfielder.

Gomes is somewhat of a throw-in. He isn’t likely to ever be a regular in the big leagues, but could find himself on the bench because of a little flexibility defensively, and because he does have an okay bat. Gomes can play catcher, though I wouldn’t suggest using him back there a ton, and he can play first as well.

This trade really is a pretty minor deal, but could bite Cleveland in the butt if Rogers gets tried out again as a starter in Toronto and succeeds. After all, the Indians need starting pitching, and I’m not sure why they would give up on a guy they just got without giving him a shot at starting.

Obviously, they didn’t believe Rogers could start, and felt he was extra, but I wouldn’t say Cleveland’s record of player procurement of late has been all that good.

This will affect the division very little. But in the long run, it could hurt the Indians.

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