It’s been a quiet trading season for the Indians, relative to 2008 and 2009, because the club doesn’t have the commodities (read: CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee, among others) it had in those years.
The blister that landed closer Kerry Wood on the disabled list means Wood is doubtful to be dealt before the July 31 Trade Deadline. But Wood’s $10.5 million contract makes him an obvious candidate to clear waivers and be dealt in July. If the Indians are willing to pay all or a portion of his remaining salary, then Wood’s stuff might be attractive to a contender looking for setup help.
Starter Jake Westbrook, making $11 million, could also be dealt in August.
Third baseman Jhonny Peralta has received little to no interest, though FOXSports.com, without citing any sources, claimed Peralta could be a bench option for the Yankees.
There was some interest among contenders in Austin Kearns last month, but his bat has slowed and he’s now dealing with a knee injury.
The Indians already fired their first shot of the Trade Deadline season on Saturday, when they dealt Russell Branyan to the Mariners. They’re certainly not done.
The Tribe is open to trading left fielder Austin Kearns, third baseman Jhonny Peralta, closer Kerry Wood and right-hander Jake Westbrook, all veterans in the last year of their contract. Peralta has a $7 million club option for 2011 that likely won’t be exercised.
Interest in the above names has been marginal, at best. Kearns, making just $750,000 and having a resurgent season, is attractive to some contenders as a fourth outfielder type, but the Indians currently value him as an everyday player and have the asking price to match. The Red Sox are one club that has inquired about Kearns.
Westbrook has been inconsistent this season and is making $11 million. He could be a guy who passes through waivers unclaimed because of his salary and is still eligible to be dealt in August. But the Indians will certainly see if there’s a market for him beforehand, as he could be a nice back-end rotation option for a contender.
– Anthony Castrovince