The schedule is winding down for the the Cleveland Indians, and with the club well out of the playoff race, it's time to start thinking about potential offseason moves, including the trade possibilities for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
The Indians are trying to rebuild, and desperately need to bolster their pitching staff. Cleveland is 28th out of 30 teams in the Major Leagues in team ERA. A player like Cabrera could potentially draw some talent for the rotation that could make a positive impact immediately.
Let's Go Tribe, SB Nation's Indians blog, suggests now may be the best time to deal Cabrera, and that he might be easier to replace than others:
Even though the Indians don't have someone that could replace Asdrubal's production at the plate, shortstop is probably the one area that they have some organizational depth in. Juan Diaz has made some offensive strides at the play this year, and finished the season in AAA, though I don't think he'll be an offensive force right away. After Diaz is Tony Wolters and Ronny Rodriguez in Carolina, and after them is of course Francisco Lindor in Lake County. The three lower-level players all should rank in the Indians' Top 10 prospects, and Diaz should show up on some lists as a sleeper prospect.
Cabrera is signed through 2014, and with the projected shortstop free agents looking rather thin at best, this winter might be the peak of Cabrera's trade value.
Cabrera is hitting .269 with 14 homers and 57 RBI in 2012. His OPS has dropped from .831 to .755 during a post-All Star break slump.
For more on Indians offseason news, rumors, analysis, and opinion, check out Indians blog Let's Go Tribe and stick with SB Nation Cleveland.