If the Indians are buyers at the trade deadline, who will they likely target?
The Indians certainly haven’t lived up to expectations through the first half of the season, but the way they heated up just before the All-Star break has many people wondering if they’ll look to make upgrades at the trade deadline.
At 42-46, they currently sit 11 games out of first in the AL Central and 5 1/2 games out of a Wild Card spot. Depending on how they play at the start of the second half, they could make a few low-key moves to help move them closer to contention.
With their biggest needs being a corner bat and bullpen help, we take a look at the players Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Indians could target:
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
Ramirez would be a slight upgrade at third over rookie Giovanny Urshela. Hitting .234 with 10 home runs, 17 doubles and 39 RBI, Ramirez is a veteran with the potential to get hot. Just before the break, he was named NL Player of the Week after hitting .545 with 11 RBI.
Adam LaRoche, DH, Chicago White Sox
LaRoche signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the White Sox this past offseason, but hasn’t lived up to expectations. A career .262 hitter, he’s averaging .222 with nine homers and 33 RBI so far this season. It’s hard to see the Indians taking a risk on another left-handed hitter who’s past his prime, especially considering his contract.
Ben Zobrist, IF/OF, Oakland A’s
Zobrist is a super-utility man who can play numerous positions and provide a veteran presence in the clubhouse. He’s hitting .261 with five home runs, 17 doubles and 31 RBI so far this season, which is a down year for him offensively. While he might be exactly the type of player the Indians would covet, the Yankees and Mets are both reportedly interested in Zobrist and would be willing to overpay to get him.
Martin Prado, IF/OF, Miami Marlins
Prado is having a solid year offensively, hitting .272 with a .311 on-base percentage. A 10-year veteran, Prado could help the Indians at multiple positions and could hit virtually anywhere in the lineup. The one drawback, however, is the $11 million he is owed through 2016.
Adam Lind, 1B, DH, LF, Milwaukee Brewers
Lind is hitting .292 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI this season, so he could definitely help the Indians’ problem of not being able to drive in runs. He will be a free agent at the end of the season and will probably command more than the Indians would be able to pay him. Lind might not be worth what the Indians would have to give up for a one-year rental.