If the Tribe plan on catching the Tigers, some sort of deal will need to be made. The team has been linked to a number of players including the recently traded Matt Garza.
Having lost out on Garza, the rumors continue to circulate as to who the Indians could turn to both in the bullpen, and possibly in their starting rotation.
Here's a quick recap of the latest rumors surrounding the Tribe and the decisions they may make in the coming days.
Don't Hold Your Breath on Jake Peavy
The Indians could use a pitcher to solidify the front end of their starting rotation. The team essentially possesses five No. 3-5 starting pitchers at this point and they lack a true No. 1 starter.
In their search for this ace, the Tribe had been linked to starter Matt Garza. With Garza off the table, the rumor mill churned out Jake Peavy as another possibility.
Peavy hasn't pitched much like the ace he was earlier in his career, but he'd still be a major contributor to a team like the Indians hoping to add one final piece to put them over the top.
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your stance on Peavy, it doesn't look like he'll be a part of the Tribe's starting rotation anytime soon.
According to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman, the Indians aren't likely to factor in to any trade as they are "not believed to be a match."
It's not hard to believe. The Indians payroll reached $80.6 million for 2013 and adding a $29 million commitment over the next two seasons may not be in the cards financially (per baseballprospectus.com).
Beyond the financial limitations, Peavy is going to require a decent prospect haul. Sam Miller and some guys over at Baseball Prospectus put together a wonderful article where they played the part of a GM in the hunt for Peavy, arriving at a final trade package.
You can check out the full article here, but to keep it short, the winning package for Peavy came from the Dodgers and included Corey Seager, Matt Magill, Garrett Gould and Alex Castellanos for Peavy and second baseman Gordon Beckham.
Throw out Gordon Beckham and a similar trade package from the Cleveland Indians would have to include Trevor Bauer, Ronny Rodriguez and another mid-level prospect.
The Indians could feasibly pull off that deal for Peavy, but not when you figure in salary constraints and the injury concerns that surround the 32-year-old.
Cleveland Has Had Talks with the Colorado Rockies
You're probably assuming that the Indians had talks with the Rockies about 25-year-old super reliever Rex Brothers. Surprisingly, this is not the case.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Rockies and Indians have had "serious talks" regarding 28-year-old reliever Josh Outman.
Outman, a starter turned reliever, has spent parts of eight seasons with the Phillies, Athletics and now the Rockies. As a minor leaguer, Outman owns a 3.13 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. At the big league level, those same metrics shoot up to 4.66 and 1.43 respectively.
Outman has functioned solely as a reliever with the Rockies in 2013 and has been mediocre at best. Over 37 appearances and 38 innings pitched thus far, Outman posted a 4.50 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP while averaging 9.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 3.15 K/BB and 10.2 H/9.
Apparently, the Indians scouting team must see something that numbers cannot because Outman would slot in as one of the team's worst relievers in an already shaky bullpen.
Bullpen, Bullpen, Bullpen
That's the mantra Indians' GM Chris Antonetti has been repeating as we close in on the trade deadline. According to an interview with the Tribe's GM by Fox Sports Ohio's Pat McManamon, the bullpen will be the focus of any deals made leading up to the deadline.
Antonetti notes that of all 30 teams, only about five are in a position for an all-out sale. He then goes on to point out that of those five the White Sox, is an inter-division rival and would be an unlikely trade partner.
Unfortunately for Antonetti, that fact essentially wipes the best starter and reliever left on the trading block, right off the war room board.
McManamon went to point out that in actuality, the two teams with arguably the most to sell—outside of Philadelphia should they decide to sell—are the White Sox and Royals, both of whom are members of the Indians division.
The Indians are in a peculiar position this year where although they look to be buyers, a viable option may not be available to them at this time.
Without a willingness to move MLB ready talent like Danny Salazar, or a top prospect like Francisco Lindor, the Indians may be left out in the wind to acquire players like the aforementioned Josh Outman.
All stats come courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and are current through play on July 28, 2013.
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