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Indians make trade with Dodgers for Justin Sellers

Indians make trade with Dodgers for Justin Sellers
Justin Sellers hit .270 with 6 HR, 65 RBI with a .755 OPS in 89 games at Triple-A last season. (Photo: AP)
March 2, 2014
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The Cleveland Indians today announced they have acquired infielder Justin Sellers from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations.  To allow room on the 40-man roster they have designated first baseman David Cooper for assignment.

Sellers, 28, has appeared in 82 games for the Dodgers over the last three seasons (2011-2013), splitting 2013 between Triple-A Albuquerque and LA hitting .270 (88-326) for the Isotopes with 26 doubles, 4 triples, 6 home runs  and  65 RBI in 89 games (.755OPS). The versatile infielder has appeared in 608 games at shortstop, 170 games at second and 35 games at third base over his minor league career and 50 games at short, 15 at second and 13 at third base with the Dodgers.

The Cal State Fullerton alum began his professional career in 2005 with the Oakland Athletics after being selected in the sixth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.  He was later traded to the Chicago Cubs in February 2009 and acquired by the Dodgers organization later that spring.

User Comments

March 3, 2014 - 12:07 PM EST
Interesting move. And yes, I agree w Tony that this says more about the SS depth at Columbus than anything.

I do not think the Tribe sees Ramirez as a SS, needs Ramirez to be a SS, or even wants Ramirez to be a SS. There's just no way he's going to be a major league regular at that position. They know that he has a (small) chance to be a major league regular at 2B, and at this point in time, that's obviously where his highest value is, to the Tribe or in a trade.

He also may not progress enough to be a regular in Cleveland, and if that happens he'll be groomed as a utility inf, but they're not going there yet IMO. They also don't see Rodriguez as ready to play in AAA, so they bring in players like Sellers who can play SS at Columbus. Johnson either makes the team or is let go to find another ML job.
March 2, 2014 - 1:52 PM EST
Important to note that Cooper was never in consideration for a ML job. He was ticketed for Columbus no matter what to prove health. I think a lot of people misinterpreted the Major League deal as meaning he was on the team or a serious option, but quite the contrary as the Major League deal also came with his last option year and full control to just send him down as a depth option (the plan all along). As a non-roster invite on a minor league deal they would have had to get his acceptance on an assignment to Columbus. Same as David Adams who is ticketed for Columbus even on a ML deal.

As for the pickup of Sellers, this to me is simply a pickup for Columbus and a depth option if the Indians lose any of Cabrera, Aviles or Johnson (I am predicting Johnson as on the team). With Ramirez delayed any quite possibly not available to start the season, he is filling Ramirez's depth role that he would have had at the start of the season in Columbus.
March 2, 2014 - 1:41 PM EST
Hmm, team just adds new SABR guy. Team deals for what looks like a guy who was stuck in the Dodgers farm system who appears to do a little bit of everything. Wonder if these are correlated? Is the Tribe taking a small gamble here? Do they maybe think they found an undervalued guy? Am I jumping to conclusions? Did I spell correlated right? Surprised they DFAd Cooper though, woudl think this guy is in direct competition with Adams.
March 2, 2014 - 1:32 PM EST
Justin Sellers not a kid- he was in the same draft class as Troy Tulowitski, Dustin Pedroia, Matt Garza, although he was a highschooler in the draft so still in the prime years. Good D is the word- range, soft hands, John McDonald type. Francona is not comfortable w Santana at third late in games, or Chisenhall either for that matter, that much is clear. Another 5'10/160 guy. I'm starting to think Chris Antonetti doesn't like too many guys on the team that make him look small- maybe he should go GM in Japan. I
March 2, 2014 - 1:01 PM EST
Maybe the Tribe wants more depth to protect against injury. Sellers is basically a young UTL type, with most of his experience at SS.

Another thought here, is maybe the Tribe is building depth fortify the MIF in case they look to make a trade from their MIF depth later.

Doesn't seem like Cooper would be a option for the Tribe at 1b anyway. Although I am a little surprised he was the first to be DFA'd. Santana and Raburn could see at bats there, plus Aguilar seems to have forced the issue with a strong winter. Then there's David Adams who might be able to play a little on either corner.
Joe Chengery
March 2, 2014 - 12:59 PM EST
I'm thinking that, perhaps, something could be up with Cabrera, perhaps in regards to a trade, and the Indians want to make sure they have enough depth. Also, they may want to prepare for the fact that Ramirez may not be ready to go to start the season, and thus, want to prepare for that possibility.

Certainly, it must be something significant, as I don't think they'd make a trade and allow Cooper to be DFAed just to add a guy that would have no influence or impact- something's developed, probably along at least one of those two lines (or maybe an undisclosed injury to one of the others- Johnson, Adams, etc.)

More light might be shed on this soon- certainly interesting. I'd be curious as to whether he has options left, etc- thanks!
March 2, 2014 - 12:46 PM EST
I don't get it why trade for Sellers. Francona mentioned inf depth because Ramirez recovery has been slow. You already have Johnson in camp. I don't see neither Sellers or Johnson being part of Opening Day roster.

I think Aquliar might have passed Cooper in pecking order and the reason for DFA.

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