Trade season has begun for the Cleveland Indians and the next 24 hours could prove to be hectic.
First up was the move announced Thursday afternoon sending Cesar Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox.
For some fans, this is a bummer and a sign the Indians may be giving up on the playoff race.
However, Hernandez was an obvious trade candidate since Opening Day and the Indians front office executed this situation perfectly.
We have traded 2B Cesar Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for LHP Konnor Pilkington.
Pilkington was a 3rd round pick in 2018 and currently leads the Double-A South League is lowest average against (.173) and WHIP (0.92).
Welcome to Cleveland, Konnor! pic.twitter.com/23EXLPiMJr
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 29, 2021
Value Ready To Flip
Hernandez showed up in Cleveland last year and played well, albeit in limited action because of the shortened season.
The Indians liked what they saw and inked him to a new one-year, $5 million deal for 2021 that also included a $6 million club option for 2022.
Basically, the Indians could in fact keep him around for cheap if the team was a top contender this year.
But that is not the case and the organization possessed a talented veteran infielder, flashing career-best power, on a cheap deal.
Another way to look at this situation, for the most optimistic out there, is the Indians were not likely going to win a World Series this year because of Hernandez.
With the trade the team adds an intriguing southpaw pitching prospect and could realistically re-sign Hernandez in 2022, given the White Sox decline his option.
Adding any prospect in exchange for two months without a player, during a year when contending is not the top priority, is a huge win for the team.
The Plan Now
Plenty of fans, this writer included, believed Andres Gimenez would immediately get a promotion.
However, Owen Miller is being called up for a specific reason.
Andres Giménez was not an immediate option because he's in the process of applying for U.S. residency, so next week's Toronto trip would've presented complications.
Also, Richie Palacios will be promoted to Triple-A and Brayan Rocchio will be promoted to Double-A.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) July 29, 2021
So it would appear Gimenez is an option once the team returns from Canada.
The fact the Toronto Blue Jays are finally returning home is good for baseball, and should not prevent Gimenez’s rise for too long.
Miller getting more playing time is also good, as the rest of the season will focus on letting young guys get regular playing time in preparation for shaping the roster in 2022.
And who knows, maybe the team starts a winning streak and jumps up into a Wild Card spot.
Hernandez was a great veteran to have on the team.
He was just never going to last and was an obvious trade piece from the moment he signed his one-year deal.
His value was increased as well because of the club option, yet the White Sox may decline that with Nick Madrigal returning next season.