A look back at some of the more significant Tribe transactions that were made in February over the years...
Notable February trades
February 28, 1929:
Traded C Chick Autry to the St. Louis Browns for C Bibb Falk.
Autry had only had 117 plate appearances over three seasons as a catcher for the Tribe. He would only get 178 plate appearances for the White Sox over the next two seasons. Total WAR for Browns: -0.7
Falk had been the White Sox starting catcher since 1921. He started for the Tribe in 1929 before becoming a backup the following two seasons Total WAR for the Tribe: 4.0
February 18, 1958:
Traded C Jim Hegan and P Hank Aguirre to the Detroit Tigers for C Jay Porter and P Hal Woodeshick.
After 17 years in the Forest City, Jim Hegan was shipped out by crazy Frank Lane. Hegan was 37 and only lasted two thirds of a season before being shipped out again, this time to the Phillies. But Aguirre would pitch 10 years in the Motor City and led the league in ERA once. Total WAR for Tigers: 17.5
Porter lasted just one season as a backup catcher before being traded to Washington. Woodeshick only made 14 appearances for the Tribe in 1958 before also being sent to the capitol in a separate transaction. Total WAR for the Tribe: 0.6
February 25, 1975:
Traded P Milt Wilcox to the Chicago Cubs for P Dave LaRoche and CF Brock Davis.
Wilcox was decent in 1972 before pitching poorly in 1973 and 1974. The Cubs didn' t like what they saw and sold him to Detroit that winter. Total WAR for Cubs: -0.3
Davis never made it up with Cleveland, but LaRoche had two really good seasons in the pen before being flipped to the Angels in mid-1977 in the Sid Monge deal. Total WAR for the Tribe: 5.3
February 5, 1984:
Traded 3B Toby Harrah and P Rick Browne (PTBNL) to the New York Yankees for OF Otis Nixon, P George Frazier and P Guy Elston (PTBNL).
After five years in Cleveland, Harrah was sent to the Big Apple. He only played one year there before heading back to his original franchise, the Rangers. Browne never made it to the majors. Total WAR for Yankees: 0.5
Nixon spent four seasons as a late inning defensive replacement and pinch runner before having a much longer career with seven other teams. Elston also never made it to the majors. Frazier only made 22 relief appearances before being included in the Sutcliffe deal that netted us Joe Carter that summer. Total WAR for the Tribe: 0.0.
February 15, 1996:
Traded P Jason Grimsley and P Pep Harris to the California Angels for P Brian Anderson.
Better known as the duct crawler, Grimsley was ok as a reliever for the Indians from 1993 to 1995. He made 20 starts for the Angels in 1996 and got lit up, leading the league in hits batmen along the way. He got injured and returned with the Yankees in 1999. Harris had two decent years in the Angles pen before having to retire due to injury. Total WAR for Angels: 0.7
Anderson was league average in 17 starts in 1996 and 1997 before being lost in the expansion draft to the Diamondbacks. Total WAR for the Tribe: 1.1
And that is the last trade the Indians have pulled off in the month of February.
So the best trade the Tribe made in February is probably the Dave LaRoche deal.
Notable Free Agents
February 19, 1949:
Signed 1B Luke Easter
Easter had been a star in the Negro Leagues before getting his shot with the Tribe in 1949 at 33 years old. He starred for the Tribe from 1950 to 1952, putting up 8.7 WAR in those three seasons.
February 28, 1988:
Signed DH Terry Francona
After bouncing around for a couple of seasons, the Indians took a shot with our future manager and he performed well in limited duty, 311/324/363 91 OPS+ in 222 plate appearances, netting 0.2 WAR.
February 7, 1994:
Signed C Tony Pena
This former All-Star was signed to backup Sandy Alomar at the age of 37. He stuck around for three seasons and was instrumental in the 1995 season taking for awhile when Alomar was injured. He also hit the game winning home run in the 13th inning in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox. I am more than satisfied with his 0.3 WAR.
February 10, 1994:
Signed P Jack Morris
Morris was already 39 an his results sort of showed it. He did finish 10-6 but had a 5.60 ERA in 23 starts before being released in August. It was still good enough to net 0.2 WAR.
February 9 and 15, 2013:
Signed DH Jason Giambi and CF Michael Bourn
Bourn was the result of not having to give up a Top 10 draft pick as compensation last offseason and Giambi hit some of the more clutch homers of the season in our first trip back to the postseason in 6 years.
Probably the biggest transaction was signing Luke Easter, unless Bourn gets on roll.