Indians Go All In on 2018 by Acquiring Brad Hand
On Thursday morning, the Cleveland Indians sent shock waves through the baseball world by trading top prospect Francisco Mejia to the San Diego Padres in exchange for a pair of relievers, Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. The Indians had been connected in rumors related to Brad Hand for a few weeks now. They had also been rumored to be shopping Mejia in a number of various trades, most notably a potential Manny Machado deal. (Edit: This rumor was generally presented from the Orioles perspective. Any reports of Mejia being shopped to the Orioles were adamantly denied by the Indians)
In exchange for their overall top prospect the Indians have acquired two arms that have been a steady force in the Padres bullpen. Brad Hand, a lefty and the centerpiece of the deal, was an all-star in 2017 and again in 2018. He is widely regarded as one of the top relievers in the game, posting an ERA of 2.47 over the past two seasons to go along with 45 saves and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings of work. Not only that, Hand is also under contract for the remainder of the 2018 season as well as 2019 and 2020 with a team option in 2021.
As for Adam Cimber, in 42 appearances out of the Padres bullpen, the side slinging righty has posted a 3.17 ERA and 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings of work in his first season in the big leagues. He is also under team control for five more seasons.
Both Hand and Cimber will join the Indians coming out of the break and will look to shore up a unit that has struggled mightily at times throughout the season. Combined with the pending return of Andrew Miller, the Indians now look to have one of, if not the strongest bullpen in all of baseball. One that can now go toe to toe with anyone.
Meanwhile, the trade of Francisco Mejia ends one of the more bizarre sagas in recent memory for the Cleveland Indians. While he had served as the teams overall top prospect, he never seemed to be able to gain traction with the big league club. Limited opportunities and repeated call-ups without substantial playing time brought into question what exactly his future was with the club. While he was one of the top catching prospects in all of baseball, the Indians had recently explored other positions including third base and outfield in an attempt to find him a spot on the big league roster. It was recently disclosed by manager Terry Francona that Mejia had been resistant to the move from behind the dish, most likely sealing his fate that he would be dealt prior to the deadline.
So what do you think of the trade? Were Brad Hand and Adam Cimber worth the price of Francisco Mejia? Would you have liked to see more of Mejia on the big leage club? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook or Twittter.