Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro closed a chapter in the Indians book by dealing shortstop and third basemen Jhonny Peralta to the Detroit Tigers for single-A southpaw Giovanny Soto. Peralta set an Indians record for most home runs hit by a shortstop in a single season with 24 back in 2005. He was the reason the Tribe decided not to return Omar Vizquel to the team during that time frame. Now he is gone. He may not be the only one.
Peralta has been with the Tribe since 2003. Jake Westbrook has been with the Tribe since 2001, and he may be the next to go as July 31 approaches. Word even has it that teams would still be interested in picking him up after the deadline, but he would need to clear waivers. Pitching is always on high demand, despite the fact that 2010 has been deemed "the year of the pitcher." A team truly can never have enough pitching.
Just ask the New York Yankees.
They are one team that might make a nice fit for Westbrook because they have lost veteran leftie Andy Pettitte for four to six week with a strained left groin (they could have also lost A.J. Burnett after he punched a wall in their dugout after a start, but luckily for him, he didn't seriously injure himself). The Yankees inserted Dustin Moseley into their starting rotation in a desperate move just to put someone other than Sergio Mitre in. This just doesn't seem Yankee like to me.
The Yankees do have some pieces to trade away; probably nothing major league ready, but the Indians, as always, are building for the future. Now that it appears Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt could be headed to the Phillies, and Cliff Lee got away from the Bronx Bombers by getting traded to Texas, Westbrook could be the next guy in line. Once Pettitte returns then they could easily move him back in move either Javier Vazquez or Phil Hughes, or even Westbrook into the bullpen.
Asking for infielder Kevin Russo or Jesus Montero could be asking for a lot, but the Yankees' only concern is winning the World Series ring, and they'd give up a lot to get it.
The other team showing interest in Westbrook is on the other side of the New York. The Mets. Other then Johan Santana, they really don't have a reliable starter. No, I would not consider R.A. Dickey to be proven by any means. The Mets could use a sinker baller such as Jake Westbrook, seeing that their defense is becoming elite in the National League.
Their minor league system is improving as well. Buffalo Bisons outfielder Fernando Martinez already has time at the big league level, and is something the Indians could use. But again, this is asking for a lot seeing that, on most teams, Westbrook would probably be considered a number three, or number two starter at best; no way is he a number one on a descent team. But, this deal is possible.
Seeing what the Indians got for Peralta, the trade market is rough; just like any market in our nation's economy. I remember the days back when teams traded major leaguers for major leaguers, but that just rarely happens anymore. This marketplace is rough, but hopefully during his final season as GM, Mark Shapiro will put his replacement, Chris Antonetti, in a better position to get this team back on its feet.