Terry Francona took over a team that ended up 68-94 after being competitive for the first couple of months of the 2012 season. The team aadded some key offensive FA talent in 2013., but Francona also cultivated the attitude of this young team all the way to a playoff berth and an AL Manager Of The Year Award. His club’s offense was a big reason why the team was able to do this, and the team is competitive again in 2014 with virtually the same roster – and nice power threats.
How All Of The Indians Hitters Were Acquired:
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):
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When we look at how this offense was put together, we saw a lot of decent draft picks, a few nice trades sprinkled in, and a few Free Agents signed along the way.
With Francisco Lindor coming along the way, this is probably the swan song for SS Asdrubal Cabrera, however one can’t forget this franchise fleeced the Mariners for the asset that was Eduardo Perez. to obtain his services.
Cabrera has had a nice stay in Cleveland, with 2 ALL – Star Selections, one Silver Slugger – and has provided nice defense for the last 8 years.
It wasn’t the 1st time Cleveland won out in a trade with Seattle. Does Anybody remember Shin-Soo Choo for Ben Broussard?
As you will see in a future Pitchers Roster Tree for the “Tribe”, Cleveland has Josh Outman, Trevor Bauer and Bryan Shaw for the original Perez deal now.
The 2008 Trade Deadline saw the team trade two significant pieces to start the rebuilding process. Carlos Santana was acquired from the Dodgers for Casey Blake, and the big CC Sabathia trade went down, with the Tribe reaping the benefits now from their new ALL – Star caliber CF Michael Brantley coming back as part of a big package. This roster of hitters is full with a bit of Free Agents, Draft Picks and smart trades. After a slow start to the 2014 season, Santana is pistol hot right now – with 6 HRs in his last 6 games – including a record 5 shots over the last 3 games at Kauffman Stadium in KC. The converted Catcher now has 20 HRs on the year.
Another wicked deal – was trading Casey Blake to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and netting back Carlos Santana for him at the 2008 deadline.
It was a campaign that also saw the Indians get back Michael Brantley – and a collection of others for CC Sabathia.
While the others haven’t panned out as the franchise would have liked, the club has an ALL – Star CF in Brantley for the Brewers receiving 2 months of service out of the former LHP.
The Brewers rode Sabathia to a playoff spot, ending a 26 year drought in the process, so both teams won.
In 2013, the management plunked down some cash in order to compete in the AL, with the signings of Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to 4 and 5 year Free Agent Deals, and bringing in Jason Giambi.
The team responded with their 1st playoff appearance since 2008, under the improved offense and pitching, added by the influence of 2 team World Series managing Terry Francona.
After last campaign, the team made some minor moves, like bringing in David Murphy. and journeyman OF Nyjer Morgan.
An underrated trade was also securing Yan Gomes, and Utility Infielder Mike Aviles for Esmil Rogers.
The team has been so impressed with Gomes, that they moved Santana away from being a backstopper, and gave the Catcher a 6 YR contract worth $23 MIL, that could be made into 8 years with Team Options.
Jason Kipnis is the best player on offense the club has drafted recently, and he is signed until the 2020 year.
The foundation of this club is strong for the lineup for at least the 2015 – 2017 years, with Bourn. Kipnis, Swisher, Santana, Gomes, Lonnie Chisenhall all under team control, with the aforementioned Lindor making his way up to the Majors soon to replace the departing Cabrera.
Michael Brantley has had a vast amount of pressure bestowed on him for being the last recognized name dating back to the CC Sabathia trade in 2008. The 27 Year Old. 6 year veteran is having his finest campaign in the majors, with a .318/.376/.505 slash line, and has clubbed 15 HRs, 27 Doubles while driving in 65 RBI thus far. Brantley signed a 4 Year deal worth $25 MIL prior to the year, with a $11 MIL Team Option for 2018. His production and value will help the franchise dole out many in other avenues for years to come if he keeps up this new found success.
For those that have never seen one of our Roster Trees, we go over how all of the players were acquired.
It works like 6 degrees of separation. By searching back to the origin of all the way back until a player is signed, drafted or purchased.
It totally gives you an idea on how the franchise has fared.
The Hitters In 2014 (Age) (Pos) Roster Tree
Yan Gomes (26) C/1B/3B: November 3, 2012: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with Mike Aviles to the Cleveland Indians for Esmil Rogers.
Mike Aviles (33) SS/2B/3B: Is the main Utility Infielder for the Tribe in 2014.
Esmil Rogers (28) SP: June 12, 2012: Purchased by the Cleveland Indians from the Colorado Rockies.
Carlos Santana (28) C/1B/3B: July 26, 2008: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Jon Meloan to the Cleveland Indians for Casey Blake and cash.
Jon Meloan (30) P: July 2, 2009: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Tampa Bay Rays for Winston Abreu.
Winston Abreu (37) P: August 1, 2009: Released by the Cleveland Indians.
Casey Blake (40) 3B/1B/RF: December 18, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians.
Nick Swisher (33) OF/1B/DH: January 3, 2013: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians. (5 YRs/$70 MIL).
Michael Bourn (31) CF: February 15, 2013: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians. (5 YRs/$60 MIL)
Jason Kipnis (27) 2B: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 2nd round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Asdrubal Cabrera (28) SS: June 30, 2006: Traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Cleveland Indians for Eduardo Perez.
Eduardo Perez (44) PH/OF/1B: January 13, 2006: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians. 1 YR/$1.75 MIL.
Lonnie Chisenhall (25) 3B/1B: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1st round (29th pick) of the 2008 amateur draft.
Michael Brantley (27) OF: October 3, 2008: the Milwaukee Brewers sent Michael Brantley to the Cleveland Indians to complete an earlier deal made on July 7, 2008. July 7, 2008: The Milwaukee Brewers sent a player to be named later, Rob Bryson (minors), Zach Jackson and Matt LaPorta to the Cleveland Indians for CC Sabathia.
Zach Jackson (31) P: January 9, 2010: Sent to the Toronto Blue Jays by the Cleveland Indians as part of a conditional deal.
Matt LaPorta (29) 1B/OF: November 5, 2013: Granted Free Agency. .694 OPS in 967 Career AB with the Indians.
Rob Bryson (27) P: Was Released by the Indians organization prior to the 2014 season
Michael Brantley (27) OF: Is signed through the 2018 year, and is playing his best ball ever in 2014, making his 1st ALL – star Game.
CC Sabathia (35) SP: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1st round (20th pick) of the 1998 amateur draft.
David Murphy (32) OF: November 25, 2013: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians. 3 YRs/$18.5 MIL.
Ryan Raburn (33) OF/2B/3B: January 19, 2013: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians. 3 YRs/$5.85 MIL.
Nyjer Morgan (33) OF: January 16, 2014: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians.
Chris Dickerson (32) OF: July 7, 2014: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Cleveland Indians for player to be named or cash.
Jason Giambi (43) DH: February 9, 2013: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians.
Jose Ramirez (21) 2B/3B/SS: Signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent in 2009.
Roberto Perez (25) C: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 33rd round of the 2008 amateur draft.
Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall represent two great Draft picks recently by the franchise. Both are locked up for several years, and with Francisco Lindor coming at the Shortstop position, with a combination of Gomes, Santana and Swisher rounding out the Infield and DH position, this team should be competitive for the foreseeable future. Cleveland’s lineup has a nice mix of youth and veteran leadership, coupled with speed and power.
www.baseballreference.com – the source behind all roster transactions.
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