Saturday, June 05, 2004

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Traded LHRP Matt White to the Kansas City Royals for a Player to be Named Later

White's trans-continental travels continue. Last year, he spent time with in Seattle and Boston, before being returned to Cleveland as a Rule 5 pick. This year he was selected again in the Rule 5 draft, this time by Colorado. He was then claimed off waivers by the Indians and outrighted off the 40-man roster. He's spent the first couple months of the season in Buffalo. Now he's off to Omaha. The Indians should receive some type of useful minor-league player for White, as he's left-handed and fairly young still. But being a southpaw will take White only so far, as he hasn't been able to get AAA hitters out, allowing an astonishing 45 hits in 31.2 IP.

Back to the majors for a bit. I think we can safely start to identify who should be part of the 2005 contending Indians. These are the players who could conceivably be good enough to be a contributing member of a playoff team. I have the list at 7:

LF Matt Lawton
CF Jody Gerut
CA Victor Martinez
DH Travis Hafner
SP CC Sabathia
SP Cliff Lee
RP Rafael Betancourt

Now of course, some players currently on the roster will most likely still be around. Ronnie Belliard might be re-signed. Casey Blake may become a bench player. And I'm not including injured players like Josh Bard, Ryan Ludwick, and Billy Traber. Brandon Phillips is most likely going to be the shortstop next year. David Riske should be part of the bullpen if he continues to improve. And someone from the group of Jason Davis, Jake Westbrook, Jason Stanford, and Kyle Denney might be the 4th or 5th starter in next year's rotation.

As we get closer to the end of the season, I'll explore which potential free agents might fit with the Indians.

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