Released IF Oscar Salazar from Akron (AA)
Received IF Scott Youngbauer from the Phillies to complete the Robert Ellis trade
Placed RHSP Andrew Brown (AA) on the Disabled List (“arm fatigue”)
Not a good sign to see Brown on the shelf with arm problems. He was probably going to Buffalo in the next couple of weeks, and might have been a September callup. Regardless, I’m hoping that this isn’t anything that requires surgery.
Scott Youngbauer looks like your standard minor-league utility infielder. He avoids walks like the plague, and has some power. But he’s 25 years old and in his first full season at AA, so you be the judge. Obviously, the Indians think he’s a marginally better player than Oscar Salazar, who they released to make room for Youngbauer.
It was nice to see Cliff Lee rebound last night and pitch probably his best game of the season. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out 7. However, he accomplished this against a lineup that yielded Randy Johnson’s perfect game and Ben Sheet’s 18 strikeout shutout in consecutive starts. Still you had to like his control, which is the key to his success. If Cliff can gain a little more control (he’s walked 41 in 82.2 IP), look out.
The short-season leagues are starting up. I’ve pieced together the Mahoning Valley roster, and the Burlington roster should be known later this weekend.
Finally, I don’t really see Aaron Boone as an upgrade if the Indians sign him. Casey Blake is a real nice value for the near future, and signing Boone for a couple million is in my opinion a waste of money. I’d rather the Indians simply wait until after the season to start adding contracts if Boone is the best available talent right now. Or explore some trades where teams are looking to dump contracts. The White Sox pretty much gave Billy Koch to the Marlins, as did the Astros in trading Richard Hidalgo to the Mets. I’m not saying the Indians should have been in on those particular deals, but in today’s economic climate, you could get a decent player for nothing more than taking their salary. The Indians aren’t really to the point where trading for Freddy Garcia and/or Carlos Beltran makes sense, but there’s no reason for them to look for marginal improvements when they can get them.