Will Tribe Make a Move? History Says No.

The Cleveland Indians are heading into the All-Star break in the middle of an important homestand.

They took two of three from Kansas City and now are in the midst of a four game series with the Yankees and finish it off with a three game set with the White Sox.

The Tribe needs to get at least six wins while at Progressive Field.

With the Oakland A’s pulling off a huge trade on the fourth of July, and the Angels and Yankees making minor deals to help their ballclubs, so far the Indians haven’t done anything despite a roster that needs some help if they are going to stay in the post-season race.

The question is will they?

It would go against the pattern of this franchise since the Mark Shapiro regime took over in 2001.

In 2007, a year in which the Indians won the division, the only move made near the trading deadline was to re-acquire OF Kenny Lofton for a minor leaguer. While Lofton helped Cleveland down the stretch, it wasn’t a bold move.

Last season, GM Chris Antonetti dealt another low minor leaguer to St. Louis for left-handed reliever Mark Rzcepczynski, who certainly helped shore up the Tribe bullpen.

The one big move the front office made was in 2011, when Manny Acta’s crew got off to a quick start, Antonetti did make a bold move in dealing his past two first round picks, Drew Pomerantz and Alex White to Colorado for RHP Ubaldo Jimenez.

Jimenez was wildly inconsistent for much of his tenure here, although he was tremendous down the stretch last season as the Indians made the playoffs.

However, the scorecard on the big righty is 2-1/2 seasons in Cleveland, with a half-year of being a stud pitcher. That’s not enough of a return when you give up two first round draft picks, even if they don’t succeed for the organization they were traded to.

As a matter of comparison, the A’s traded two first round picks to obtain Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, a deal that looks to be a better one than Cleveland made three years ago.

So, if you are hoping the Indians are going to make a big splash at the trade deadline, you are probably going to be disappointed.

If they wanted to make a megadeal, they would have to part with their top prospect, SS Francisco Lindor, and that’s not a move we’d be willing to make for a player who may only be with the Tribe for the next year and a half at best.

However, the Indians still have depth in their system in the middle infield and the bullpen, and have some well regarding pitching prospects in the lower minors.

If they don’t make a move, they are counting on a lot of luck to stay in the race. They will need Nick Swisher to emerge from his three-month slump and for Justin Masterson to suddenly put it all together.

Right now, those things don’t seem likely to happen.

Instead they go out and get a career back up in OF Chris Dickerson from Pittsburgh to help out while Michael Bourn is out. Nothing against Dickerson, but wouldn’t it be better to see what Tyler Holt can do?  Holt has some upside, Dickerson has a proven record of mediocrity.

And why not give some of Bourn’s at bats to Ryan Raburn and/or Mike Aviles if you don’t want to give a rookie the bulk of the playing time?

If the Tribe doesn’t stay in contention, they have only themselves to blame because these weaknesses have been visible for at least a month, and the front office has done nothing to address them.

Doing that would be a bold step. The history of the front office is they are only bold sellers, not bold buyers.

MW

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