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Trade Everyone! - The Infield

Next on the hot seat...the infielders:

1B Ben Broussard

  • PRO: You'd be selling high on Ben - he's not an everyday first baseman, but his overall numbers may fool some teams into thinking so.
  • PRO: Saves a rather hefty arbitration bill this winter.
  • CON: If used properly, a productive hitter. And the Indians can utilize a platoon situation to give Kelly Shoppach regular at-bats and cut down on the opponent's running game.
  • CON: Ryan Garko has had a poor season in Buffalo, hitting .252/.354/.436 in his second stint in AAA. And Michael Aubrey has done a very good Elijah Prince impression over the past few seasons. In other words, the Indians will likely be worse off production-wise next season if they deal Broussard.

2B Ronnie Belliard

  • PRO: You'll probably get back a real honest-to-goodness prospect. Belliard, for all his defensive issues, has hit well over his 2.5 seasons in Cleveland. And a second baseman who can hit has a lot of value in this seller's market.
  • PRO: Belliard's a free agent at season's end, and there's no guarantee that he'll be back. I'm not entirely certain that the Indians should try to keep him.
  • PRO: Ronnie's range has regressed to the point where his bat isn't making up for it anymore. It might be best to move on to another option.
  • CON: There's no one in the organization who can step in and play second base, so if Belliard's dealt, the Indians will probably have to spend just as much to get a replacement as they would to bring him back.
  • CON: Belliard might be a Class A free agent, meaning the Indians would be in line to get someone's first round pick. At worst they'd get a pick in the sandwich round. If they deal him, they give that draft pick to someone else.

SS Jhonny Peralta

  • PRO: With Peralta's contract status(locked up through 2010 with a 2011 option), he has a lot of trade value. Even with his poor season, he's still hitting well for his position, and several teams would be interested in him.
  • PRO: He may have to eventually move off of shortstop, so his positional value may never be higher.
  • CON: Peralta's contract is extremely affordable even if repeats 2006's effort over the next five seasons.
  • CON: Only 24 years old: his offensive prime hasn't even started yet.
  • CON: The Indians would be selling extremely low.
  • CON:The only possible internal replacement (Asdrubal Cabrera) is struggling to hit in AAA.
  • CON: It wouldn't look good to other young players in the organization if the Indians dumped him this soon into his contract.

3B Aaron Boone

  • PRO: He's a replacement-level third baseman both on defense and offense.
  • PRO: Should become a free-agent after the season, assuming the 2007 team option is declined.
  • PRO: The Indians have a third base prospect in AAA, a prospect they traded Coco Crisp for, and a prospect that hit more home runs in June (10) than Boone hit during the entire season (5).
  • CON: Marte may need a couple more weeks of seasoning, plus there are service time aspects to watch.
  • CON: Um, that's about it.

IN GENERAL: The Indians have the most flexibility to make changes in the infield, and could get a good return for Belliard and Broussard should they trade them. Third base is a foregone conclusion, but there's no obvious fix for second or even first should they deal the incumbents. So while it would be nice to get a good return for the right side of the infield, there's no real need to trade them just to trade them.

Third base, as mentioned above, is another story. Organizationally, it makes a lot of sense to give Andy Marte considerable time at the major-league level this season. Let's face it, the Indians are 21 games out of first place with 2.5 months to play, so it's time to see what the legitimate prospects can do.