This offseason has been pretty slow for Cleveland Indians rumors. Outside of whispers of chasing, and eventually signing, Edwin Encarnacion, the AL-pennant winners seem to be prepared to head into 2017 with the core of their 2016 squad intact. That willingness to stick with what works comes because of what they did at the trade deadline.
Tribe general manager Mike Chernoff handled his first trade deadline flawlessly, dealing for Brandon Guyer and Andrew Miller — two players who were pivotal in the World Series run in their own way. Outside of that, the Indians were also involved in one of the trade deadlines whackiest moments when Jonathan Lucroy vetoed a potentially trade at the last minute.
This all equated to a lot of interesting rumors.
#1 - Cleveland Indians should be buying what the Diamondbacks are selling by Matt Lyons (June 29)
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, the Indians didn’t have Andrew Miller. Instead, they had a bullpen full of holes and they were looking for anyone worth picking up. When the Arizona Diamondbacks were rumored to be shopping some players at the trade deadline, it seemed to make perfect sense for the Tribe to go after Daniel Hudson. Or, with a bit more optimism, third baseman Jake Lamb.
Hudson wound up staying with the Diamondbacks all season long and so did Lamb.
#2 - 5 catcher trade targets not named Jonathan Lucroy by Matt Lyons (July 29)
Before the Indians officially attempted to trade for Lucroy, they were rumored to be after him for quite some time. I didn’t want the Indians to go that route, so I laid out a plan for five other receivers. None of them came to fruition, obviously.
As much as I love Roberto Perez, I would still be okay with going out to get one of these guys and not selling the farm for a catcher upgrade.
#3 - Daniel Hudson expected to be traded soon by Matt Lyons (July 28)
Rumors are a silly thing. Daniel Hudson was never actually traded, despite a pretty confident tweet from MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert stating the likelihood of it happening.
#4 - Tribe flirting with Melvin Upton Jr. of the Padres by Matt Schlichting (July 23)
The Indians’ interest in Melvin Upton Jr. at the trade deadline was not a surprise. They needed another outfielder (this was pre-Brandon Guyer), and the San Diego Padres were a mess so what use did they really have for major-league talent, anyway?
Upton Jr. found a second-half home with the Toronto Blue Jays where he promptly slashed .196/.261/.318 in 57 games up north. Woof.
#5 - Dodgers' Yasiel Puig suddenly looks available by Matt Lyons (August 1)
JUST GIVE US YASIEL PUIG ALREADY YOU MONSTERS.
#6 - Jay Bruce reportedly willing to waive no-trade clause by Matt Lyons (June 30)
What a novel idea: A star* player waiving his no-trade clause to join a winner. This was a month before the Lucroy fiasco, so the idea of a no-trade clause getting in the way of an Indians trade was a funny little thought at the time.
* Bruce posted an abysmal .219/.294/.391 slash with the New York Mets in the second half of 2016 and they can’t even give him away at this point.
#7 - Kirby Yates traded to Yankees for cash by Matt Lyons (January 8)
Oh, Kirby. Kirby Kirby Kirby. What could have been. I was a little too optimistic when the Indians first acquired him last offseason, thinking he had an easy-to-fix problem and could turn into a sleeper steal in the bullpen (that role went to Dan Otero instead).
But Yates was gone before some people even took down their Christmas trees when the Yankees grabbed him for cash considerations. New York certainly gave Yates a fair shot at improving, a full 41.1 innings worth of tries. He finished with nearly 11 strikeouts per nine innings, but his walk issues didn’t suddenly evaporate. He finished with a 5.23 ERA and a 3.97 FIP. Still serviceable, especially for a rebuilding Yankees team, but no Dan Otero.
#8 - Would Jonathan Lucroy mean the end of Yan Gomes? by Jason Lukehart (July 22)
The Lucroy rumors were brewing into a storm in late July, and Jason wondered if it would really mean the end of Yan Gomes as many Tribe fans feared. Apparently even Lucroy wasn’t sure he would be the end of Gomes, citing his fear of being moved to 1B/DH as one of the reasons he vetoed the trade at the deadline.
#9 - Indians in talks for Jonathan Lucroy by Matt Schlichting (July 20)
Found within this post is a trade proposal from Dan O’Dowd which is as bad as most Dan O’Dowd trade proposals. He suggested the Indians deal Juan Hillman and Mike Clevinger for Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Will Smith.
Some say if you listen real carefully you can still hear the Brewers front office laughing at this proposal to this very day. True story.
#10 - Steve Pearce, Eduardo Nunez appear to be targets by Matt Lyons (July 28)
Before Jose Ramirez emerged as the most legitimate of legitimate third base options, the Indians were rumored to be looking at just about everyone. Even Eduardo Nunez, who eventually went to the Giants.