Traded the rights to OF Willy Taveras and OF Luke Scott to the Houston Astros for LHSP Jeriome Robertson
Assigned Jeriome Robertson to Buffalo (AAA)
Since the alternatives included Glendon Rush and Aaron Sele, a nice pickup, if for nothing else than to provide some depth.
Here's how the negotiations probably went:
Hunsicker: Hey Mark, I want to talk to you about keeping Taveras. He isn't going to make the club, but we still like him.
Shapiro: I'm sure we can work something out...I've been looking to add a starter, and I remember talking to you about Robertson last week..
Hunsicker: I don't know if I'm willing to deal Robertson straight up for Taveras...
Shapiro: How about I add Luke Scott? He's stuck in our system, and I know you need outfielders.
Hunsicker: Let me take a look...ok, I think we have a deal.
Taveras and Scott were at the lower ends of the organizational depth chart. Taveras definitely has the higher potential of becoming a good player, but he's a good 2 years from contributing anything besides speed and defense in the majors. Luke Scott has been old for his levels his entire professional career, and had just reached AA last year. He has shown pretty good power, but not enough to jump him past guys like Jason Cooper, Nathan Panther, Brad Snyder, and Ben Francisco, not to mention Grady Sizemore and all of the young outfielders currently on the Indians' roster.
Robertson is a tough guy to project. Yeah, he won 15 games last year, but had an ERA above 5.00, not good for a National League pitcher. Given these two facts, the next logical step would be that the Astros offense bailed him out a lot last year. But here's where it really gets interesting:
In his 15 wins, he had an ERA of 2.09
In his 9 losses and no decisions, he has an ERA of almost 9.00
Here's his game log from 2003
So his wins AND losses were both earned. This leads me to believe that he has marginal stuff, and if he doesn't have it, he's going to get rocked. The Indians seem to be collecting soft-tossing soutpaws: Jason Stanford, Brian Tallet, Billy Traber, and now Robertson. Regardless, for what they gave up, the Indians did a good job of efficiently addressing their needs. Robertson should start in Buffalo, and be the first guy called up if a starter goes down for an extended period of time.