Cleveland sent pitcher Mike Clevinger, spare outfielder Greg Allen, and the notable PTBNL to the San Diego Padres for three players off the Padre major league roster and three more from the deep San Diego minor league system as Cleveland will be exploring one of three directions for the 2021 season.
Cleveland obtained pitcher Cal Quantrill, first baseman/outfielder Josh Naylor, and catcher Austin Hedges from the Padres major league roster with shortstop Gabriel Arias, second baseman Owen Miller, and pitcher Joey Cantillo from the San Diego system.
I'll be writing about the Indians' newest arrivals tomorrow, but in this post, I want to write about the players leaving Cleveland.
The Indians had been rumored to have been shopping Clevinger after he and fellow pitcher Zach Plesac had violated the league's Covid-19 policy and then attempted to conceal that fact to the team and his teammates.
Clevinger (and Plesac) were assigned to the Indians minor-league center in Eastlake (Lake County) and the end result had Clevinger not making a start for twenty-one days before his start last Wednesday against the Twins, allowing two runs over six innings in a no-decision for the righthander.
Clevinger was 1-1 with twenty-one strikeouts and an ERA of 3.18 in four starts this season after winning thirteen games in each of the two previous seasons.
Clevinger is arbitration-eligible and the Padres will have two years of control over him, which helped in the Indians receiving the amount of talent that they did in the trade as he will not be a rental for the Padres.
Clevinger turns thirty after the season, so he would hit free agency at thirty-two, which is a little old for a player to hit the market for the first time and even more so for a pitcher.
Plus there is some reason to think that Clevinger could eventually break down with a high effort delivery and mechanics that are always going to be on the verge of going off-kilter.
Between all of that and Clevinger's history of nagging injuries that have caused him to miss time (although none of those injuries were to his shoulder or elbow), I can see why the time was right to strike if the Indians really liked this six-pack from San Diego.
Greg Allen was the other player heading from Cleveland to the West Coast.
The speedy Allen was hitting .160 with a homer for the Indians in twenty-five at-bats this season and hit .229 with four homers last season in splitting his season between Cleveland and AAA Columbus,
At 27 years of age, Allen profiles as a fifth outfielder that will fit the role of a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner, and should the Padres reach the postseason, Allen could be used in a similar manner as Kansas City used Terrance Gore in their playoff runs a few years ago.
Allen isn't quite as fast as Gore, but he can "pick them up and put them down" as they used to say and could be helpful in that spot for the Padres.
There is a player to be named and while it could be a low-level minor leaguer as a lottery ticket, please allow me to take a long shot at trying to figure out who the PTBNL could be.
Could it be Bradley Zimmer?
Zimmer's injury resume' has been vast and his bat has been anemic throughout his Cleveland tenure, never hitting above .241.
Given a chance earlier in this cameo of a season. Zimmer hit one homer in fifty plate appearances with five other singles for a batting average of .162.
Sometimes, players need a fresh start and with several outfielders of similar production on the roster currently, the Indians could be ready to cut bait with the Padres willing to risk next to nothing for Zimmer, who with his excellent defensive skills, should be a defensive upgrade for a backup outfielder in the vast expanse of Petco Park.
That's my take on what the Indians have given up, but what about the newcomers from San Diego?
I'll be writing about the new Indians in our next post.