As previously speculated, the Cleveland Indians did in fact pull the trigger on a trade with the Boston Red Sox on Friday. In exchange for Coco Crisp, David Riske and Josh Bard, the Indians received Andy Marte, Guillermo Mota, Kelly Shoppach and a player to be named plus $1 million in cash.
Crisp will replace Johnny Damon in center field. Postseason heroics aside, Crisp brings almost everything to the table that Damon did, but he's younger and cheaper. As the leadoff hitter, Crisp should easily top 100 runs scored for the first time in his career. Good move, Boston.
Mota and Riske look like a wash, but Shoppach has more upside than Bard. Not this year, though, as long as Victor Martinez stays healthy.
The real gem is Marte, a top prospect who's now expected to spend a full year in the minors. He's a solid defensive player at third base, and considering he's still just 22 years old, he's already shown a good deal of power. The Indians can afford to let him spend the majority of the year in Triple-A before taking over the hot corner in 2007, at which time the Tribe could decline their option on Aaron Boone and let him walk as a free agent. Definitely target Marte in AL-only keeper leagues, but he's otherwise not worth a roster spot.