Behind the Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers trade last weekend, the Cleveland Indians made the biggest move in the trade market.
Hand, an All-Star this season, and Cimber, a promising rookie, will come in and immediately provide a boost to a bullpen that has had success in the past, but has really struggled to get on track this season. Mejia goes out west and gives the Padres Cleveland’s top prospect and the best catching prospect in the minor leagues.
Was this blockbuster worth it for the Indians? It absolutely was, without a doubt. This trade addresses a major need for the Indians in bullpen help and makes them World Series contenders for the next few seasons.
Even with paying a high price for the two relievers, it gives Cleveland some security down the line in case Andrew Miller and/ or Cody Allen leave this winter in free agency. What is one of the biggest part of this deal is the club control for both Hand and Cimber. Hand signed a three year deal with the Padres before the 2018 season, with a club option for 2021 season, and Cimber is under team control until 2023.
The bullpen has had issues all season long, from Miller not being able to stay on the field to Allen being shaky in the closers role. This has caused other relievers to step up and play a bigger role with a heavier workload.
Mike Chernoff, Chris Antonetti, and the rest of the front office is in “win-now” mode. There is a belief in the players in the clubhouse that Cleveland can compete for and win a World Series. The Indians are a very good baseball team that sent six players to the All-Star Game and has one of the best starting rotations in baseball. It was realized that a move needed to be made and it was executed as such.
Hand has been an all-star reliever the last two seasons and has been one of the best end of the game guys the league has to offer. For his career, he has a 2.85 ERA and 47 saves. This season, Hand has a 3.18 ERA to go with 24 saves and 66 strikeouts. He strikeouts 13.20 batters per nine innings and opponents are batting .202 against him in 2018.
Cimber is in his rookie season with an ERA of 3.12 giving up 17 earned runs over the course of 49 innings pitched. The right-hander is tough on right handed hitters, as they have a .226 OBP versus Cimber.
Cleveland loses its top prospect in Mejia in this trade, which could hurt them down the road. But this season, and even in two or three seasons, Mejia may not even see time behind the plate. With Yan Gomes under contract until 2021 and Roberto Perez signed until 2022, it would be a few years until Mejia would get a shot at catching every day. In addition, Cleveland drafted a catcher, Noah Naylor, in the first round of the draft this June.
This trade came with a big price. But for Cleveland to go out and get quality help in the bullpen could be just what the Tribe needs to widen the AL Central gap and compete for a World Series title.
Now go out and get Adam Jones.