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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cleveland Indians trade Luis Valbuena to Toronto for cash

Luis Valbuena, one of the many players who have tried to fill the hole at second base since the Indians traded Brandon Phillips, was traded to Toronto for cash Saturday.

Valbuena was designated for assignment by the Indians on Nov. 18 as they set the 40-man roster in preparation for the Rule 5 draft. He’ll turn 26 Sunday.

The Indians acquired Valbuena and Joe Smith in a three-team trade with Seattle and the Mets at the winter meetings in 2008. Valbuena, acquired from Seattle, caught the eye of former Tribe manager Eric Wedge in 2009 as he hit .250 (92-for-368) with 25 doubles, three triples, 10 homers and 31 RBI in 103 games.

It was downhill from there.

Thanks to RD.

Repoz Posted: November 27, 2011 at 02:51 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, indians

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   1. Greg K Posted: November 27, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#4001569)
What's his glove like? I get the sense he's passable at 2B, but you wouldn't want him playing SS for anything other than an emergency.
   2. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: November 27, 2011 at 04:32 PM (#4001581)
He had this performance vs. Toronto in a April loss in '10, which prompted the Indians post-game guy to have this very annimated Hawk Harrelson-like post wrap segment. Pretty over the top.

- T. Snider grounded out to first
- J. Buck hit for J. Molina- J. Buck grounded out to third
- F. Lewis doubled to shallow right
-A. Hill safe at first on shortstop L. Valbuena's fielding error, F. Lewis scored
- A. Lind homered to deep left, A. Hill scored
- V. Wells safe at first on shortstop L. Valbuena's fielding error
- V. Wells stole second
- M. McCoy flied out to right
   3. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: November 27, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#4001588)
My completely subjective impression of Valbuena's glove at second base is that it's not quite average. It's fair, but it's not good enough that he can have an MLB career if he doesn't hit. I wouldn't want to rely on him to play shortstop with any kind of regularity.

Speaking in terms of Indians/Jays second basemen, I think Joe Inglett is a better player than Valbuena, though he's much older and doesn't have anywhere near the upside that Valbuena has.
   4. Ellis Valentine's Bright Future Posted: November 27, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#4001619)
Hard to criticize picking up a young AAAA 2B for cash when the Jays have a gaping hole at 2B for 2011. Most likely a Plan B but nice to have the depth.

It will be very interesting to see whether the Jays want to commit a multiyear deal for Kelly Johnson when they have a young no-hit Cuban SS with a golden glove in the minors that could conceivably push Escobar to 2B in 2012. Especially when this is the last year when they would get full compensation for Johnson in the draft.

An offseason with AA as your team's GM is almost as fun as watching the games being played.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 27, 2011 at 06:30 PM (#4001625)
when they have a young no-hit Cuban SS with a golden glove in the minors that could conceivably push Escobar to 2B in 2012

Why would you want to start a no-hit SS? It's not 1972.

Edit: I think Valbuena's still got a shot at being an average MLB 2B. He's done some real mashing in AAA the last 2 seasons, and is only 26.

Good buy low for Toronto.
   6. Greg K Posted: November 27, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#4001642)
Why would you want to start a no-hit SS? It's not 1972.

I think I'm more pessimistic on Hechevarria than most Jays fans. Until he actually starts hitting (for more than just a month at the end of the year in Las Vegas) I wouldn't really let his existence influence my plans for the team much. Especially since Yunel Escobar has both a good bat and a good glove at SS, and is still just 28. Obviously he can't be your SS forever, but he's not exactly a typical switch to 2B candidate.

I like this move as it adds depth where it's needed, with at least a conceivable upside, at effectively no cost.

I know draft picks are fun and there's all sorts of creative things AA can do with 2B, but I'm still rooting for a Kelly Johnson 2 year deal of some kind.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 27, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#4001648)
Seems like a pretty nice lottery ticket, given the price.
   8. Boileryard Posted: November 27, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#4001684)
I know draft picks are fun and there's all sorts of creative things AA can do with 2B, but I'm still rooting for a Kelly Johnson 2 year deal of some kind.

Same here. I also think the old adage "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" applies. Johnson is a good, established major league second baseman. Even with the club's emphasis on scouting and development, the draft picks are still going to be crapshoots. It's fine to turn fungible relievers into draft picks, but it doesn't make much sense to do that with a second baseman who isn't easily replaceable.
   9. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: November 28, 2011 at 01:42 AM (#4001814)
Mmm, would be really interesting to know whom it is Anthopoulos & Co. have been targeting thus far for 2nd base, best case scenario. Assuming he doesn't make a Lawrie type deal with someone, you'd think that he'd have to try a 2 yr deal with KJ. But, I doubt he does go 2 yr, considering Escobar & Hechevarria. Or maybe he flips Hechevarria at some point, maybe that's in his plans. Or perhaps he'll say the offence is already upper tier, it's starting pitching upgrades that'll make a W-L difference in '12.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2011 at 02:42 AM (#4001838)
Why would you want to start a no-hit SS? It's not 1972.


arguably the best player on the Mariners roster last season fits this description. (not really the best team to use as evidence on using that philosphy though of course)
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 28, 2011 at 02:53 AM (#4001840)
arguably the best player on the Mariners roster last season fits this description. (not really the best team to use as evidence on using that philosphy though of course)

An 83 OPS+ is not exactly "no hit". Of course you wouldn't move Yunel Escobar to 2B to play Brendan Ryan anyway.

A "no hit" SS maxes out around league average, if he's a fantastic glove. You just don't worry about making room for that, when you have an excellent incumbent at the position.
   12. AROM Posted: November 28, 2011 at 04:31 AM (#4001906)
I'd say a no hit shortstop's max is either Mark Belanger, or Adam Everett before he broke his leg. That's better than league average, but then it takes historically great defense to get there, not merely good defense.
   13. Greg K Posted: November 28, 2011 at 09:39 AM (#4002031)
Yeah, this is a guy who's hit .255/.291/.362 over 1000 minor league PA so far.
I'm not sure he should factor into any decision AA makes. At this point I'd plan on him being an excellent glove-man/utility type guy and if he turns into a guy who can play every day you deal with that when the time comes.

What would you get for Hechevarria right now? I can't imagine it would be anything. Especially since he's owed $3.5 mil over the next two years.
   14. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: November 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM (#4002035)
that video in #2 is hilarious.

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