Tribe weighing options before Trade Deadline
CLEVELAND -- With the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching on Friday, it remains unclear whether the Indians view themselves as buyers or sellers. It could be both, as recent reports have indicated.
Sportsnet.ca reported on Sunday that the Indians and Blue Jays had come close to agreeing to a trade for right-hander Carlos Carrasco, but that the talks "fell apart near the finish line" and that the offer is "no longer on the table."
The Indians are in an enviable position with regards to their wealth of young, talented and cost-effective starting pitching, and while general manager Chris Antonetti isn't looking to move any of them, he isn't turning away teams that inquire about them.
Carrasco signed a four-year extension in the offseason, worth $22 million through 2018 with club options in '19 and '20 that could be worth an additional $18.5 million.
"I think people around baseball recognize that we have a really good and talented group of starting pitchers that are under control for the foreseeable future," Antonetti said. "Those are very valuable players to have on any team. So, we've had a lot of calls about a lot of our players, our starting pitchers included, but players around the diamond. It's natural at this time of year for teams to reach out and express interest in a variety of different players. That's no different. We have no motivation to move any of them."
According to another report, the Tribe could also be buyers. FOXSports.com reported on Monday afternoon that the Indians, as well as the Rangers, are teams that have inquired about Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez.
Antonetti has said he's not focused on bringing in rentals, or players with contracts expiring at the end of the year. While Gomez wouldn't be a long-term commitment, he also doesn't qualify as a rental, as he's under contract for a reasonable $9 million through the 2016 season.
Gomez has cemented himself as one of the elite position players in baseball since being acquired by Milwaukee. Since the start of the 2013 season, his 15.1 WAR ranks sixth among all position players and third among center fielders, trailing only Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen. He's hit .280 with a .345 on-base percentage in that time, providing a unique combination of power (55 home runs), speed (81 steals) and defense (41 defensive runs saved).
Indians outfielder David Murphy's name has also been mentioned in trade talks, as FOXSports.com reported the Angels have interest in the 33-year-old left-handed-hitting corner outfielder.
Murphy, who is making $6 million this season and has a $7 million club option for 2016, is enjoying a bounce-back season, batting .297/.345/.441 in 225 plate appearances while serving mainly as one-half of a platoon with right-hander Ryan Raburn.
With the departure of Josh Hamilton and the struggles of Matt Joyce, the Angels are searching for a left-handed hitter to fill the role of either left fielder or designated hitter, making Murphy a potential fit.
The Angels did acquire veteran outfielder Shane Victorino from the Red Sox on Monday. Victorino provides them with a right-handed hitter who can start in left field against lefties and a fourth outfielder who can handle all three spots.