Matching the Cleveland Indians With Their Most Likely MLB Trade Deadline Targets
By Braulio Perez
The MLB Trade Deadline is less than 10 days away, meaning contenders across the bigs are likely looking to make a big splash to improve their teams before the postseason.
As of this writing, the Cleveland Indians are three games back of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central race, holding a 57-41 record. But in order to seal a spot in the playoffs, the Indians might need to make some moves. Here's a look at five players the organization should target.
1. Yasiel Puig, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Though Yasiel Puig isn't known for his hustle, you can never forget about his powerful swing and big bat. Now with the Cincinnati Reds, Puig undoubtedly isn't happy his team is in the NL Central cellar. After going to back-to-back World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he's likely going to want to play come October again. Enter Cleveland. They're in need of a slugger and have the prospect capital to make a deal work. Puig has hit 22 HRs with 59 RBIs thus far, and could be a much-needed upgrade in Cleveland's outfield.
2. Whit Merrifield, 2B, Kansas City Royals
Though the Indians have some absolute studs in the infield, Whit Merrifield provides consistency both at the plate and at second base. What makes this more interesting is that the Kansas City Royals are far from their World Series days in 2015. This team is completely rebuilding. They'll likely look to be sellers at the deadline, which could prove to be a big benefit for Cleveland. Though Kansas City might be hesitant to trade Merrifield to another AL Central team, Cleveland could part with a prospect like Nolan Jones to facilitate a deal.
3. Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, Detroit Tigers
Nick Castellanos has seen his name in headlines regarding trade rumors quite a bit over the past week. With the Detroit Tigers also in a rebuild, it looks like the slugger could be headed elsewhere. Similar to Puig, Castellanos provides a reliable bat and strong arm in the outfield. While the Chicago Cubs have emerged as suitors to land his services, the Indians would be wise to step in and acquire him. He's a big-time talent, hitting .283 with 10 HRs on the season.
4. Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees
Notice a trend here? Outfield help is needed in Cleveland and there are plenty of options out there. While the Indians may be looking to trade away pitchers, bringing in OF help will be key. Why not Clint Frazier? There's just no room for him in the outfield for the New York Yankees right now, as he's currently playing in the Minor Leagues. However, the man known as Red Lightning deserves to be in the majors. Additionally, the Yankees have been linked to Trevor Bauer, and including Frazier in that trade could make sense for both organizations.
5. Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres
Like all the guys on this list, Hunter Renfroe is being mentioned in trade talks quite a bit ahead of the deadline. Even before the season, his name had been linked with Cleveland as a possible trade destination. Thus far in 2019, he's hitting .247, with 28 blasts and 51 RBI. Those are some pretty impressive power numbers. If the San Diego Padres decide to move Renfroe at the deadline, the Indians could be a great landing spot for the slugger.
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