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Cleveland Indians trade rumors: Indians are reportedly open to trading Lonnie Chisenhall

Mets, Giants listed as possible trade partners by Buster Olney.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Cleveland Indians have made Lonnie Chisenhall available for trade. The Tribe’s estranged third baseman, who was at one point believed to be the future at the hot corner for the team, was demoted to Triple-A Columbus earlier this year after a rough start to the season.

Since the demotion, Lonnie has torn up Triple-A pitchers for a .290/.340/.449 line including three home runs and a stolen base. However, an emerging defensive stud in Giovanny Urshela combined with Chisenhall’s own struggles at the major league level this year (59 wRC+) has made him an easy target as trade bait for the Tribe.

If another team believes that his offense can rebound and his defense is as good as the numbers say (and not as bad as he looks), then they could potentially get a great deal in the third baseman. He is owed, as Olney notes, only $900k over the remainder of this season. Olney also suggests the Mets as a possible trade partner to fill their utility infielder role, but I cannot imagine anyone trusting Chisenhall at shortstop or second base. Third base, first base and maybe left field if you are feeling adventurous, but no way does Lonnie help any team out by moving around the diamond filling gaps every night.

Chisenhall has been a streaky hitter of his career and thrived in his first full season as a starter in 2014 when he worth 2.1 fWAR and 121 wRC+.

Trading Chisenhall is not a move that would point to the Indians buying or selling on its own, but more of an indication that they believe in Urshela as their future third baseman. You could make the argument that trading Lonnie now is trading him at a low point, considering he looked awful the last time he was in the majors. However, he may not get another shot at playing for the Indians again so trading him while he is mashing in Triple-A is likely the most value he will have at this point.

As for what the Indians could get in return, do not expect Carlos Gomez. The Tribe have a boatload of outfielders hitting their minor league ceiling (or at least close to it) so they could also consider packaging one or two of them along with Chisenhall to grab a better player away from a potential trade partner. Something like Chisenhall with Carlos Moncrief, Tyler Holt, James Ramsey, or even Jose Ramirez could make an enticing package at least to get a major league-ready player that can help the Indians in the short term.