The Indians received outfielder Jason Ramsey yesterday for former ace, Justin Masterson. But the Tribe faithful should not have been surprised that when Chris Antonetti decided to put Justin Masterson on the block, that the ring tone that stood out the loudest and most consistent his cell phone was "Here Comes the King," from John Mozeliak.
It was just a year ago that the Tribe received Scrabble (Marc Rzepczynski) in exchange for Juan Herrera. But that is getting ahead of ourselves just a bit.
The Cleveland franchise has been in existence since 1901, but with the Cardinals in the "other" league, there was not much chatter between the two teams for most of the time since then.
The first move between the teams occurred when Alex Pearson jumped from the Cardinals to the Naps prior to the 1903 season. That was before the American and National League had hammered out agreements to stop raiding each other for players.
The first official transaction happened just prior to the last Tribe championship, in 1948, when George Zuverink was acquired by the Indians, but there is no record of what the transaction entailed. It may have been a trade, or just a straight purchase, which was common back then. Hoyt Wilhem was claimed on waivers by the Tribe in September 1957, as was Morrie Martin in July 1958.
The first definite and official trade between the teams is dated May 10, 1961 when the Indians sent Joe Morgan (the future manager, not the future Hall of Famer), cash, and PTBNL Mike Lee for outfielder Bob Nieman. Morgan was finished and Lee never played in St.Louis. WINNER: INDIANS
Fred Whitman was stolen by the Indians in December 1962 for Ron Taylor and Jack Kubisyn. WINNER: INDIANS
The first "big" deal would be when Jose Cardenal was sent to the Cardinals for Vada Pinson in November 1969, both teams got something out of that one, but it favored St. Louis. WINNER: CARDINALS
There were a few more minor deals in the 70's, but the next signficant deal was when Bobby Bonds was sent to the Cardinals for John Denny and Jerry Mumphrey, but Bonds was done as a good player by that point. WINNER: INDIANS
Just before the 1993 season, hard hittin' Mark Whiten was dealt to St. Louis for Mark Clark. WINNER: INDIANS
Then at the trade deadline in 1995, Cleveland sent David Bell and two minor leaguers out for Ken Hill in another resounding success for Cleveland, as Hill helped the Tribe win its first pennant since 1954. WINNER: INDIANS
In 2002, Chuck Finley was sent to the Cardinals for their pennant drive while the Tribe received Covelli Crisp and Luis Garcia. The Cardinals did make the NLCS that season, but Crisp was the far better player after the trade. WINNER: INDIANS
At the 2008 deadline, the the Cardinals traded Luis Perdomo to the Tribe for Anthony Reyes. WINNER: INDIANS
The next year, a month prior to the deadline, they once again flip flopped. Mark DeRosa was sent to the Cardinals for Chris Perez and Jess Todd. We don't always remember Perez fondly here, but he had some very good seasons. WINNER: INDIANS
In 2010, the two teams invited a third team to the party. The Cardinals needed a starter, so the Indians sent out Jake Westbrook in his walk year. The Cardinals sent Ryan Ludwick to the Padres while receiving Nick Greenwood back. The Indians' spoils ended up being Corey Kluber, who was barely some html code with the Padres at the time. This obviously has become the jewel of all of our deals with the Cardinals. WINNER: INDIANS
After a couple years away, the teams could not deny their attraction any longer, and along came Scrabble. As of now, the Tribe has come out ahead on that that deal, but Herrera is still just 21, so we can't call it yet.
And now the Masterson/Ramsey deal, which makes five deadline deals in the past seven years between the two storied franchises. Based on precedent, I look forward to a few years of serviceable production for Ramsey, while Masterson flames out, but we shall see.
Who will be involved in next July's deal? Since it will be an odd year, it should be the Indians turn to land the veteran. Of course, after getting burned in almost every one of the trades between the two teams, Mozeliak may just delete Antonetti from his cell phone.