I'm back, and while I watched about five minutes of Indians baseball last weekened, and Jay covered everything that happened exceptionally well, here's my thoughts on the highlights of the last four days.
The Eduardo Perez deal. Even if the Indians get little else over the next month, they've had a good trading season. Not only do they get good value for Eduardo Perez, they get a player who fills a need and could help as soon as next season. Cabrera's a good to very good defender at shortstop and/or second base, has pretty good plate discipline, and he's 20 years old and playing in AAA. That's a nice combination. Normally, a prospect like Cabrera wouldn't be available, but the Mariners' middle infield of Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez made Asdrubal available.
Cabrera did hit .236/.323/.360 in Tacoma, so he's not ready for the majors. I'd probably go as far to say he needs another year in AAA. The Indians will need to find a stopgap for next year, so this trade probably won't save them any money for next year. But Shapiro pretty much got max value for Perez.
Bullpen meltdown. The five minutes I watched the Indians came during the ninth inning of Friday's game. Bob Wickman finally got burned after allowing a tying run to come to the plate. To his credit, he's saved two games since then. Wickman's been very good at bouncing back from blown saves (or in this case, a blown four-run lead). And Dunn's home run was the first he's given up this season. I'm rooting for Bob to remain effective mostly to up his trade value, not because he's the key to an Indians playoff run (how pathetic is that?).
Jeremy Sowers. Jeremy was helped considerably by the Indians' defense, but he retained his composure after falling behind early, and went seven innings. You'll certainly take that from any pitcher on the staff, much less a rookie in his second career start. Fausto Carmona seems to be growing into his role as a reliever, although I'd still like to keep the door open for him to return to the rotation.
All-Star Selections. Outrage over an All-Star snub has become a bit overdone in past seasons, even with an expansion of the roster. Travis Hafner is one of, if not the best, hitter in the American League, and he hasn't made an All-Star team. He should be there, and I hope that he does make the final spot, but snubs happen every year. And remember that the Indians got five All-Stars in 2004, including Matt Lawton, Jake Westbrook, and Ronnie Belliard.