CLEVELAND, Ohio – Five things about the Indians trade second baseman Cesar Hernandez to the White Sox before Friday’s 4 p.m. deadline.
N ° 1: a white flag agreement
Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations, said the goal this season is to try and win as many games as possible. But reality must also play a role.
The Indians drag the White Sox to first place in AL Central by 8 1/2 games. Their top two starters, Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale, are out at least until the end of August due to injuries. Bieber may no longer launch this season. So the Indians have ceded their first hitter, one of their best powerful hitters, to the team they are supposed to chase.
A delicate situation, to be sure. It’s clear the Indians would have much preferred to trade Hernandez to San Diego, but the Padres acquired All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier from the Pirates on Monday. But that’s the deal they made in a limited market for second baseman.
“All other things being equal, if we had our preference it would probably be not to trade within the division,” said Antonetti. “But in this case it made the most sense, so we’re happy to make a decision that we think will be in our best interest. “
# 2: Hernandez takes Indian charter flight to Chicago on Thursday
To add the uniqueness of the deal, the Indians open a three-game series against the White Sox on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. Antonetti said the Indians packed Hernandez’s gear on their charter flight, but the White Sox were to transport it to Windy City.
# 3: another college pitcher
Left-hander Konnor Pilkington, the White Sox’s third pick in 2018, will report to Class AA Akron. He was 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in Class AA Birmingham.
The Indians added 19 pitchers to the draft earlier this month, including 18 from college. The White Sox used their third pick in 2018 to remove Pilkington from Mississippi State. So add another college starter to the Indian depth chart.
# 4: chain reaction
Antonetti, with second base open, said Owen Miller will be promoted from Class AAA Columbus and will have the chance to fill the position. Yu Chang and Ernie Clement are also expected to spend time there.
Miller, acquired from San Diego as part of the deal with Mike Clevinger last year, failed to impress earlier in the season. He had a great start to the season at Columbus, but reached 0.106 (5 to 47) in 18 games for the Indians.
“I think he had a rough initial period in the major leagues,” said Antonetti. “He wasn’t successful and maybe walked away from some of the things that made him a successful hitter in the past. Hopefully he will come back to the squad this time around, feel more comfortable and be more of the player we’ve seen throughout his time in the minor leagues.
Richard Palacios will move from Class AA Akron to Columbus to replace Miller. Bryan Rocchio will move from Lake County Class A to Akron to replace Palacios, who hit .303 (73-for-241) with six homers, 36 RBIs and an .893 OPS. He will see the time in the infield and the outfield in Columbus.
Rocchio is hitting 0.267 (68 for 255) with 13 doubles, nine homers and 33 RBIs.
“It allows us to promote some of our infielders who we believe deserved this next challenge,” said Anontetti.
Andres Gimenez, the Indian opening day shortstop, has not been forgotten. He is being considered for the second base job, but as Antonetti explained, he is currently applying for residence in the United States and is not allowed to leave the United States. After their weekend streak in Chicago, the Indians fly to Toronto for a four-game streak against the Blue Jays.
“He’s in the mix, but in the short term he’s not an option,” Antonetti said.
# 5: Are Indians Still Open For Business?
Antonetti said the Indians will stay busy until Friday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Could they trade one of their receivers, Roberto Perez or Austin Hedges? Perez has a club option for 2022. Hedges will narrowly miss being eligible for free agency.
Relevers are always in high demand on the deadline. Set-up man Bryan Shaw is on a one-year contract and will be a free agent after the season. Interest should be high in closest Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak, but they are young and affordable and appear to be part of Cleveland’s future.
The most important element remains Jose Ramirez, the three-time All-Star third baseman. He has two club options left on his $ 11 million and $ 13 million contract.
The Indians have already turned the apple cart upside down with their name change. If they wanted to shake the foundations of Progressive Field, a Ramirez trade could do it. But that doesn’t seem likely.
Indian goods for sale: Here’s where you can order Cleveland Indians gear online before the team becomes the Guardians, including jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies, hats and more.
No more Indian blanket
Reyes really goes to the yard and 4 other things
Four home runs overwhelm Cards in a 7-2 win
What I hear about the Guardians – Pluto brand situation
Bullpen falters once again in 4-2 loss to St. Louis
Civale, Bieber and 4 other things
José Ramírez is he in the commercial plans of the Indians?
LHP Alex Young off Arizona; Civale at 60 days IL
Looks like the Indians are going to trade
McKenzie gains confidence in the way his lands are played
Indian and minor league players organize clinic for foster children