Buyers or sellers? Nobody quite knows what Chris Antonetti and his staff have up their sleeves as the trading deadline nears, but one thing is certain; the Indians should trade David Murphy and Ryan Raburn.
Murphy and Raburn both have had bounce-back years and have at least a bit of value to teams looking for a veteran bat. Murphy entered this year as the odd man out in a crowded outfield, but has earned plenty of playing time against right-handed pitching by slashing .307/.357/.458 over 215 plate appearances. He's also hit 5 home runs and driven in 26. While Murphy's defense has been relatively poor in 2015 and he suffers from a lack of range and taking odd routes on fly balls, he's serviceable at a corner outfield spot.
Raburn mans the less used side of the platoon, starting mostly against left-handed pitchers. After a disastrous 2014 season that saw him put up a .200/.250/.297 line, Raburn was a huge question mark going into 2015. He's responded by hitting .287/.371/.508 in 140 PA, with 4 home runs and 21 runs batted in. Like Murphy, he is not a defensive wiz, but at least has avoided any more throws like this.
So why should the Tribe trade these productive hitters? First, the wise man knows you should buy low and sell high. This sure seems like the high water mark for both Murphy and Raburn and the timing is spot on to move them.
This would save the club some money, which could help them avoid having to move more important pieces like Carlos Santana or Brandon Moss. Murphy is making $6 million this year, while Raburn is earning $2.5 million, so a deal could net the Tribe some second half savings. Also of note, both players have team options built into their contracts for 2016. Buying those options out would cost the Indians $600,000, so that's more cash the club could save.
Finally, this will help out the Tribe's farm system. While the Indians won't likely get top 150 prospects for either Murphy or Raburn, a deal could net the club some intriguing young players who might fill some holes within the organization. A deal would also free up some at-bats toward the end of the year for Indians prospects like James Ramsey and Tyler Naquin, which could add clarity to future outfield plans in Cleveland.
The time is now to trade both Murphy and Raburn. Here's hoping the Tribe's brass makes the wise move.