The Rundown: Indians not Dealing Starters, Mets not so Stingy, IBWAA Awards Begin

A little over a week ago, I wrote about some information I’d heard regarding talks between the Cubs and Indians that centered around a swap of Jorge Soler or Javy Baez for Carlos Carrasco or Danny Salazar. Given the dearth of legitimate outfield talent on the roster, it made sense that the Tribe might look to swap strengths with a team possessed of excess bats. But now it appears the Indians are unwilling to deal pitching in exchange for outfield help.

I can get not wanting to part with young, cheap arms, which means the Indians are going to have to spend on a free agent or two. Heck, maybe even three, which isn’t going to be easy.’s Paul Hoynes explained the needs thusly:

How dire is the situation? At the moment, besides Brantley, there are five outfielders on the Tribe’s 40-man roster – Abraham Almonte, Lonnie Chisenhall, Michael Choice, Jerry Sands and Zach Walters. There’s not an everyday player among them so if you see the Bat Signal shining in the sky above the executive offices at Progressive Field tonight, you’ll know why.

Here’s the thing though: you never want to make it look as though you’re dealing from a position of desperation. It’s entirely possible that the Indians are steadfast in their desire to keep all their pitchers. It’s also possible that they are trying to add any leverage they can as far as negotiations with potential suitors are concerned. This time of year is all about trying to get the best deal possible, and letting it be known that you won’t trade starters could simply be a way of making said starters more valuable.

I’m not saying Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff (Cleveland’s version of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer) are being dishonest at all, only that I don’t believe they’ve closed any doors. Speaking of not closing doors…


Mets non-committal about keeping/trading Wheeler

The Mets have said they’re not actively looking to move the post-TJ Zack Wheeler, but they’re certainly willing to offers. In fact, Assistant GM John Ricco has been pretty transparent about the team’s willingness to talk about any of their starting pitchers. That’s not to say they will or should trade off Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, or Steven Matz, but they might need to consider it in order to maintain competitiveness down the road.

With Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy possibly leaving in free agency and David Wright’s health anything but certain, not to mention a decidedly meh shortstop situation, the Mets may be forced to part with an arm in order to land a bat. For as much as their pitching captured headlines and imaginations, it was offense that propelled New York to the top of the NL East and then the World Series.

Perhaps it’s time to fire up everyone’s favorite: Starlin-Catro-to-the-Mets trade scenarios!


IBWAA announces Reliever of the Year

As a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, I am perhaps a bit biased, but I think our organization does a pretty good job when it comes to post-season awards and HOF voting. The results of our various choices will be released over the next few days, led by the RPOY winners:

For what it’s worth, my vote was: 1) Chapman; 2) Rosenthal; 3) Jeurys Familia

I voted for Betances to win this award, with Davis and Miller behind him. Stay tuned for ROY voting, which I’m assuming will come down to Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor in the AL. As for the AL, the only question is who will the IBWAA expel from its membership for voting for anyone other than Kris Bryant.

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