The trade deadline has taken a whole different turn for the Cleveland Indians. Terry Francona’s club played a great streak before the All-Star break against the Royals, then after against the A.
Now, as the Houston swoon continues, we are all reminded that while the Titos have done an admirable job of keeping the Tribe above 0.500, this club is not a serious contender. Cleveland was 8.0 games behind Chicago before July 21, and the Astros, a true contender, had beaten the Indians six straight.
All signs point to the Tribe not going into ‘win now’ mode when the trade deadline expires, rendering The Athletic’s Jim Bowden’s suggestion that the Tribe trade for Rangers hitter Joey Gallo moot.
Bowden claims Gallo would help improve the team’s field play, and he’s right. That said, Gallo’s contract doesn’t quite match what the tribe is trying to accomplish. Gallo will begin his final officiating season in 2022 and is expected to enter free agency in 2023.
Essentially it would be a rental in a season that is rapidly going down the tubes.
Let’s say the tribe wins a few matches before July 31st. An exchange would still not make sense. Cleveland would only have Gallo until 2023, and it’s not the MO of this front office to let the guys walk.
Bowden also pitched the name Mitch Haniger from Seattle. It would probably be cheaper, but it has the same control as Gallo.
I don’t expect Indians to remain silent on the trade deadline. Maybe they could get something for Cesar Hernandez and / or Eddie Rosario. Maybe Chis Antonetti and Mike Chernoff will start trading some of those middle assets that will need to be crammed onto the 40-player roster this winter.
In return, the tribe wants players who are in the situation that Franmil Reyes was in 2019. At the time, Reyes was playing in the big leagues and enjoying success with the Padres. Cleveland had him, a player under the club’s control throughout the 2024 season.