The Wickman trade appears to be the one with the most immediate impact, because it will give the Indians a look at rookie Fausto Carmona's ability to handle the closer's role. If Carmona succeeds, one offseason dilemma is solved. If he struggles, let the Hot Stove talk begin.
Tribe waiver trade candidates
|Boone has said he wouldn't mind being dealt to a contender, and the Indians probably wouldn't mind dealing him with Andy Marte taking over the regular third-base duties. Boone has labored at the plate in his two years with the Tribe, and this year he has had more than his share of defensive struggles. The Indians and Boone, who is making $3.75 million this season, have a mutual option for '07.|
|Hollandsworth is no stranger to getting dealt midseason. It has happened three times before in his Major League career. That's because teams love to acquire a left-handed bat to aid them in their playoff push, and Hollandsworth, who is making $900,000, has shown this season he still has a capable bat in a reserve role.|
|The Indians considered Mota to be a key part of the January trade that sent Coco Crisp to the Red Sox because they viewed him as a setup man. But he's been nothing short of a disappointment this season, and the club is interested in dealing him. The question will be whether a contender wants to take a chance on the once-stellar Mota.|
The prospects acquired in the Wickman and Perez trades will have no impact on the Opening Day roster for '07. Ramirez is "far away" from the big leagues, in Shapiro's estimation, and Cabrera, who has a Triple-A glove but a Double-A bat, isn't expected to break camp with the Major League club. Choo and Luna both have an opportunity to earn regular jobs for '07. Choo is getting a look as the starting right fielder against right-handed pitching, and Luna will split second-base duties with fellow utilityman Joe Inglett. Those aren't the only spots the Indians will be getting a gauge on as the season draws to a close. Aaron Boone was demoted to a utility role, opening the door for prospect Andy Marte to get the regular starts at third base. Boone, outfielder Todd Hollandsworth and reliever Guillermo Mota are all possibilities to be dealt before the Aug. 31 waiver trading deadline. The potential blessing in disguise to this wayward season is that it got definitively off-track early enough for Shapiro to jump the gun on what was a necessary overhaul. "If we get what we think is fair value, we choose to act quick, rather than wait to see if we can get marginally more," Shapiro said. "You could argue that either way is the better way to go, but there are a bunch of teams on the 31st that are stuck and have to lower their price or never get deals done." Having just 16 members of his original 25-man squad on hand is far from an ideal situation for Shapiro, but it's to be expected when contention hopes spiral down the drain. "There's a certain level of risk we're going to have to take to be successful in this market," he said. "A few of these trades involved taking some of those risks and some of them didn't involve taking risks, in terms of where we are right now." And where the Indians are now is in an unanticipated evaluation period.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less