Friday, June 12, 2009

The five best moves of the Wedge-Shapiro era
Fair and balanced, right?

As a side note, I started writing about the Bartolo Colon trade, then remembered it happened in 2002, when Charlie Manuel was still managing.

1. Eduardo Perez to Seattle for Asdrubal Cabrera.
This is an outright steal. Perez was hitting really well for the Indians, but he was only a few months from the broadcast booth. Cabrera is turning into a star. He already helped the Indians reach the postseason in 2007, and after a disappointing 2008 was on a tear this season.

He's strong defensively at second and short. Here's hoping he stays at short, and in the leadoff spot, once he returns from the DL.

2. Trading Einar Diaz and Ryan Drese to the Rangers for Travis Hafner.
Hafner was probably the biggest reason the Indians improved every year from 2003-2005. He was as dangerous a hitter as their was in the league from 2004-2006. And the Tribe gave up nothing to get him.

3. Signing Casey Blake in 2003.
He wasn't great (or even good) all of the time. The Indians and the media overrated him and pushed him as a star when he was not. I ripped on him with a joy I usually save for politicians or Steelers.

But here's the truth: Blake was nothing when the Indians signed him, and he occupied a spot in the lineup for six years. By 2006, Blake had turned himself into a very good player who did everything asked of him. By 2007, he was a leader on a championship team, who even came up with some big clutch hits down the stretch.

Yeah, he hit into a double play and had a key error in the seventh game of the 2007 ALCS. But no one could have imagined the Indians would have gotten that much out of him when he arrived in 2003. Beyond that, he even netted the Indians some prospects in a deal last July.

4. Signing Kevin Millwood in 2005.
He went only 9-11. But he started 30 games and had a league-best 2.86 earned run average. All from a a one-year incentive-laden deal. He was a big reason the Indians won 93 games that year.

5. Ben Broussard for Shin Soo Choo in 2006.
You'd think the Mariners would just stop trading with Shapiro by now. Amazingly, they did again this winter. The deal involved the Mets. All I remember about it is that it involved Joe Smith and Luis Valbuena and the Indians gave up Franklin Gutierrez.

Of course, Broussard was just decent for the Indians, but Choo has been much better than that. Despite injuries and possible military service in the future, Choo has become a very solid hitter. Right now he has eight homers and 39 RBIs in 61 games. A very good deal.



At 5:08 AM , Blogger Joel said...

I like it.

Wedge has looked pretty bad early this week, but that's what a bad bullpen does to you: He left Jensen Lewis in one inning too long last night, but what the heck? He had pitched two effective innings, which none of the others could do the night before.

Has to be frustrating for Wedge, though I don't think he'll survive the guillotine much longer, right or not.


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