The trade deadline is fast approaching and every team in the hunt is looking to upgrade. Here are some targets for the Cleveland Indians.
Just what the Cleveland Indians will do before the trade deadline is up in the air. The team needs to continue winning in order to buy, but if they find themselves in a slump they could sell. If they do intend on buying here are a few players Cleveland could target.
Nicholas Castellanos has not had the season he expected. His production is down in nearly every department and is a liability defensively. After the Castellanos and the Tigers failed to reach an agreement on an extension he essentially hit the trade block right then and there. Even with the down season and troubles in the field Cleveland should still target Castellanos. The Indians would add him to their current rotation of outfielders and give him some time as a designated hitter. Of course the price may be a bit steep considering Detroit is a division rival. Although Cleveland and Detroit did agree on a deal to send Leonys Martin to the Tribe last season.
Jorge Soler has taken some time to develop as a hitter but appears to have found his power stroke this season. Soler’s 25 home runs though 94 games is a career high and is nearly 40 percent of his career total. The only issue is that like many players Soler struggles in the batting average department and will strike out a lot. Considering the Indians are not exactly hitting home runs at a rapid pace it is worth exploring. The Indians still rank in the bottom third in baseball in regards to home runs. Adding someone like Soler could provide a bit more of a punch to an Indians lineup which can sometimes be a bit punchless. Like Castellanos, Soler is on a division rival. This could mean that Cleveland may have to pay a bit more than teams outside of the division to acquire Soler.
According to reports the Baltimore Orioles are listening to offers for reliever Mychal Givens. While the Indians have not been mentioned as a team that has reached out, they should. The Cleveland bullpen has performed well this season but struggled out of the gate after the All-Star Break. What must be considered when discussing the Tribe bullpen is that is a collection of arms rather than a few guys who can be depended on for any given situation. This is why adding more relievers may be the best move to make.
While Givens does not have the best ERA or WHIP this season (4.50 and 1.222 respectively), it is the strikeouts that matters. Givens averages 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings. This would be the second-best mark among Indians relievers who have appeared in at least 20 games.
One last thing to consider with Givens. Only 13.3 percent of the runners inherited have scored this season. Only two relievers with more than 30 appearances have allowed less on the Indians this season (Brad Hand and Nick Wittgren have allowed zero). With other names such as Adam Cimber, Tyler Olson and Oliver Perez ranging from 16 percent to 40 percent this could really help things. Especially considering that Givens not only stands runners he inherits, he strikes batters out.