The Cleveland Indians traded reliever Esmil Rogers to the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday, November 3 for utility players Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes, reports Yahoo! Sports via The Associated Press. According to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Mike Aviles mostly plays shortstop but does maintain experience at second base, third base, and the outfield. Yan Gomes can catch and play the corner infield positions. Gomes and Aviles both bat right-handed, something the Tribe could use.
Esmil Rogers began the 2012 season with the Colorado Rockies where he struggled. In 23 games as a Rocky Rogers compiled a 0-2 record and 8.06 ERA. The Indians acquired him Tuesday, June 12, 2012 for cash considerations. I expressed my disapproval the next day writing in my article “Cleveland Indians Trade for Reliever Esmil Rogers: A Fan’s Reaction,” “Esmil Rogers’ career 6.77 ERA and 8-11 record just seems uninviting.”
Boy, how Rogers silenced my concerns! Rogers made 44 appearances wearing an Indians uniform, going 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA. He ended up becoming the best pick-up all season. Then again the most competition for this title came from faltering veterans Johnny Damon and Derek Lowe. Anyways, back to the topic at hand.
When I learned the Cleveland Indians traded Esmil Rogers, I felt surprised. The Plain Dealer’s Tribe beat reporter Paul Hoynes quotes GM Chris Antonetti saying to the media, “Esmil did a great job for us. We weren’t looking to trade him, but both teams dealt from a position of strength to help a weakness.”
Now personally I question the Indians bullpen’s exact strength. Outside side-armer Joe Smith, setup man Vinnie Pestano, and closer Chris Perez, the relief corps did struggle throughout 2012. Yes, Rogers and rookie Cody Allen did step up and perform well before the year ended. I guess if the Indians avoid trading these other guys during the offseason, the bullpen will still contain a strong core.
Yet avoiding moving a Chris Perez leads to the question, what other Indians serve as trade bait? Cleveland needs to fill voids at first base, designated hitter, and left field. I imagine the Tribe addressing at least one of these needs through trade. Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo seems a common name brought up in trade rumor discussions but dealing him creates a vacancy out in right field.
Overall the Esmil Rogers trade represents the start to what will hopefully become a busy winter for the Cleveland Indians’ front office. Therefore I’m choosing to refrain from judging the deal until I see what other moves the Tribe pulls off.
Zachary Fenell fell in love with the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season when the Tribe powered their way to the organization’s first World Series appearance since 1954. While the Indians lost some allure since the 1990s you will still find Zachary watching the games on TV, listening to them on the radio, or best yet taking in a game from the stands at Progressive Field.
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