Is it time to trade Lonnie Chisenhall?
A few months back I brought up what was then a more controversial view that the Indians should strongly look to trade Lonnie Chisenhall. At the time Chisenhall still looked like a breakout candidate and was not that far removed from being a potential all-star. I held by the numbers which showed he was in for a massive regression, which we are seeing now.
Now, does this mean I think he is a bum? No, not at all, but I do worry about his total skill set. I think there is 20 home run power in there, but the walk to strikeout total, defense, and inconsistency are all big issues.
One reason to move Chisehall is he is an asset and also opens up a position for the Indians. Operating under the assumption that Francisco Lindor is soon going to occupy shortstop at some point next season and for a long time after that, the Indians are locked into every position on the diamond.
I hope they can get rid of David Murphy but with him, Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn the outfield is set with players the Indians have sizable monetary committments in 2015. Nick Swisher and has bad knees will be locked in at DH. The rest of the infield is also locked up with monetary committments as well with Jason Kipnis,Carlos Santana, Yan Gomes, and the previously mentioned Lindor. I have not even mentioned Zach Walters who might be reduced to a super sub at this point or even Jose Ramirez.
A trade of Chisenhall would mean opening up a spot at third base. The other aforementioned players are either tough to trade because of their subpar play and high contracts or are players the Indians view as core players. Chisenhall is somewhere in between there as a player who is inconsistent and a subpar defender but someone who will create some interest on the trade market because of his upside, ability and low monetary cost.
I know there has been a lot of talk about Giovanny Urshela and the year he has had. He brings a right-handed bat and plus defense at third, and he has the potential to win a Gold Glove at third down the line. The question has always been is whether his bat is good enough. My concern is he has never been a higher level top 10 prospect and Columbus has made many mediocre hitters look good. I think Urshela is best used as a bench bat that might surprise everyone. He could have a very Jack Hannahan-like career. The Indians could also try moving Ramirez to third though this might be a waste of his skills.
Instead I propose another idea, one that is a bit more drastic and one I am yet to see mentioned elsewhere. I would propose moving Kipnis to third. As a former outfielder I would think he has the arm for third. His defense at second is not just below average but with age it is shifting to poor. His UZR/150 for his career is -6.3. A -5 is considered below average, and the issue is Kipnis numbers have been getting worse every year. He is a below average defender at best, and it’s likely to get worse. Now a lot of teams have been moving third basemen to second, so why not the other way? If he was able to play closer to last year’s numbers then he would be top five among third basemen in wRC+ which measures total runs created by a hitter.
In a typical year he would be better with the bat and glove at third than Chisenhall based on previous year’s production.
The Indians defense has been atrocious this year. This is something every fan can agree on, which is rare. It has been so bad that no one could argue anything other than its degrees of awful. I think everyone would agree the Indians need to consider both aspects of the game when they make a lineup.
This shift would significantly improve the defense as it also opens the door for Jose Ramirez. Kipnis could not be worse than Chisenhall has been this year at third base, who by Fangraphs defense value is the worst third baseman in baseball this year. Ramirez and Lindor up the midde would be the best defensive combo the Indians have had since Omar Vizquel and Robbie Alomar - though will note I am saying best since them not on par with them.
Then when you add in a full year with preparation for playing first for Santana who has graded out as an above average defender this year and all of the sudden the infield defense is A LOT different and improved. The infield defense goes from substandard to above average in a single offseason.
One of the big reasons Chisenhall is tradable has been the emergence of Jose Ramirez. Ramirez is the Rodney Dangerfield of minor and major league baseball. He gets no respect. For most of his career he wasn’t even considered the best Jose Ramirez in the minors as that distinction went to a Yankees pitching prospect. ESPN did a piece on the top 10 second base fantasy prospects; it’s not a super deep pool but Ramirez couldn’t even make the honorable mentions.
This all makes little sense to me. Anyone who scouts and follows prospects will tell you that a major indicator is age relative to level. Ramirez was always much younger than the players he played against. He was the youngest player in the International League to start the year. He struggled a bit in Akron last year but was 4.5 years younger than the league average. This year in the International League he was almost six years younger than the average. He has been able to produce in spite of this - especially this season.
Another thing I look for is plate discipline in the minors, which I often judge through walk to strikeout ratio, and percent of strikeouts per plate appearances. I mentioned earlier that these factors are not kind to Chisenhall, yet they are to Ramirez. He might not offer the power of Chisenhall, but he brings better defense, plate discipline and speed.
My only concern with a deal is how much this situation reminds me of the Kelly Shoppach situation in 2008. Both players had big years with obscenely high BABIP’s. Both had indicators that showed they were in for a regression and that this season was likely a career year. Other teams will realize this as well.
If you read between the lines, that offseason it was clear the Indians had offers but none that were good enough to deal with the fallout of trading a player who had a perceived breakout like Shoppach had. The issue was other teams were smart enough to want to wait a year and see if it could be sustained. The Indians made the wrong choice and waited and in the end only got Mitch Talbot, who hasn’t pitched in the majors in three years.
My point is to sell high on Chisenhall. Don’t wait for another year and risk having no value. There are teams who liked Chisenhall - specifically the Cubs. I would shop him and try and add an arm that could help. I don’t even mean a big time arm, just a solid mid-to-back end arm with multiple years of team control. I'm sure the dream would be to get Jake Arrieta, but that won’t happen and I would then check and see about Corey Black or Pierce Johnson. Black in particular intrigues me thanks to his velocity. The idea of an arm in Double-A and a lesser spec in Single-A might work for the Cubs who seem ready to try and win next year.
Bottom line, as fantastic as Chisenhall was in the first half of the season, the negatives make him a trade now candidate as the Indians try to improve going forward.
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All due respect, Kipnis' fWAR largely came from his ridiculous June 2013 when he had a 1218 OPS- his falloff in the second half led to him not even having an 800 OPS in any month in the second half (I still don't think he's had an 800 OPS month in 2014, certainly didn't through July 2014). There were some months since last June that weren't even 700, and that was before the oblique injury.
Keep in mind that that oblique injury can't be that serious- if that were the case, the Indians would NEVER let him play, especially after signing him to a large, long-term contract. Like Tony, I worry that many, including the Indians, are going to try to pass off his poor 2014 due to the oblique injury- if you can convince another team that is the case and get a decent return in a trade for him, fine- sell that.
But, truth be told, I see the injury not being that serious and more fluke with Kipnis' bat than ability- for three seasons now, he's been very streaky, and largely, non-existent offensively, Defensively, he doesn't hold a candle to Ramirez- Kipnis isn't even as good a defensive 2nd baseman as Carlos Baerga, and Baerga wasn't known for his defense.
I think Ramirez has at least the base stealing ability of Kipnis, possibly a bit better, as he has better pure speed than Kipnis- he just needs more experience reading ML pitchers. Power-wise, I think Kipnis only has a minor advantage at best- Kipnis is likely more of a 10-15 HR guy going forward than a 20+ HR guy- his power fell off in the second half of 2013, and there wasn't an oblique injury then. I think Ramirez might be a 5-10 HR guy in the long run, but even if he's only a 0-5 HR guy, he provides better plate discipline and no weakness against LHP, equivalent or better speed, and far better defense. Also keep in mind who is likely to improve offensively and defensively- Ramirez is 22, I believe, while I believe Kipnis is 28. It's obvious that Ramirez is the better bet to improve, NOT Kipnis.
That is all the more reason why I would look to trade Kipnis this offseason- if that can't be done, shift him to LF for next season- he should NOT be playing 2B next season- keep in mind that Kipnis played OF at Arizona State- that's still his best position or where he will be the least liability defensively. Regardless if Urshela takes over full time at 3B next season, Kipnis should not remain on the INF- the defense would be a plus if that defense is Urshela-Lindor (when he's ready - Ramirez can be there to start the season, but I would have a stopgap at 2B then so Kipnis can get reacclimated to the OF)-Ramirez-Santana-Gomes/Perez.
I see your point, but do you really envision Jose Ramirez being the type of impact player that Kipnis has the ability to be with the bat? Kipnis has a 4.5 fWar last year. Now do I think Jose Ramirez can be a 3-4 win player, yes I do. That's only because he will play a much better 2nd base than Kipnis. That being said, I feel they'll steal a similar amount of bases so that's a wash. Jose Ramirez will probably hit for a higher average, but there's no way that he'll produce like Kipnis (When healthy and producing like he's capable). Ramirez is a slap hitter with limited gap power while Kipnis has the ability to produce above average offense at 2nd base. So in regards to your argument, I am worried that Ramirez isn't going to produce like Kipnis can offensively. The problem on this team is offense/defense right now and I'll admit Kipnis is a huge reason why. That being said, if he has a bounce back year next year, it'll be extremely helpful to this line up. IFFFFF Kipnis can hit like he's capable, I can live with the defense. They must upgrade 3rd base defense for that to happen though.
I just don't like the idea of unloading a guy for one bad year. If you get something nice in return, go right ahead... but I don't like just trading him to trade him because someone feels that JRam is a similar player.
That being said, I am a Lonnie fan. What I do like is that he's increased his walk rate while maintaining his career K rate, which is always a positive sign. Move him to RF so he's not an insane liability in the infield. If somebody wants to give the Indians a haul and gamble on Chisenhall's fluky solid offensive season, the Indians would be foolish not to listen.
Batting average is such an outdated statistic people. Think about it... it evenly weights the value of a single and a home run when clearly, that's not the case. For example, Carlos Santana can "afford to be a .230 crappy hitter" because of how many walks he draws and his power.
I wouldn't move Santana for anything less. Chisenhall and Kipnis are a different story. I still think moving Bourn, and Murphy is the way to go. Actually, I'm thinking a larger overhaul is needed...doubt they can trade Swisher, so he's a moot point. But I think trading Bourn, Murphy, and Aviles could get done. Cutting Ryan Raburn might be in the cards too, if I couldn't move him in the offseason I'd bring him back to ST next yr and then cut or trade him.
@Walter.. We don't want Bruce.. He's Nick Swisher with a very slightly smaller contract. He's not the player that he promised to be when he was launching 30 bombs per year 2011 through 2013. Leake, absolutely. but, it's doubtful the Reds would let him go with both Cueto and Latos having only 2015 left before they both can become free agents.. Cincinnati does have Cingrani returning and Stephenson nearly ready to join the ML rotation. The Reds have a couple of pitching prospects that I wouldn't be upset with if they replaced Bruce: Kivel and Romano.. Depending on how Murph does in his return, the addition of a left handed stick to the Reds would make some sense. Z-Mac would be a solid addition to the bottom of their pitching staff.. Aviles is who cares.. Giving up Chisenhall would hurt.. but returning Leake and a couple of lottery tickets would make it worth it..
@Homer.. yes to the suggestion w/ the projection for Walters at third.. Maybe to the trading of Santana..but only if the return is a wipeout.. Santana to the Dodgers for Seager and Joc..something outrageous like that...
@ Tony regarding trading Kipnis.. NYY would LOVE to have him.. sadly, the NYY's don't really have a lot that the Indians want that is MLB ready right now..(Greene & Banuelos?) and.. why would it be a good idea for the Indians to use a ".. handcuff for easing a guy like Urshela into the mix.." Are you imparting something you've read in an EL James novel here?.. eh Fifty?..
I agree that Victor Martinez would be a perfect addition for the Indians. Problem is that unless they move Swisher, there is no way Martinez is coming here. And Swisher is near impossible to move right now.
We could explore trading him when Lindor is ready to take over at short, probably in mid-season. In the meantime, keep JRam there - he's doing a great job.
But I really think we need to start planning for Lindor/JRam as our SS/2B of the future. The near future.
Chisenhall's defense at 3rd has improved lately. At least he's making the routine plays consistently. And his bat is coming around. He's killing it the last ten games. I wish he weren't so streaky, but that may improve with time. I wouldn't trade that bat, not on a team as offensively challenged as the Indians are.
Chisenhall should not be traded. .295 AVG with a .360 OBP from an improving 25 year old hitter. He was never going to keep up with the torrid pace he was setting in the first half and he is now starting to get hot again after a cold patch. I think the right field thing makes sense on the surface, but there are too many logistical blocks including contracts for Raburn Murphy Swisher, and you also don't know if Lonnie can take good routes on the ball in the outfield. A change of position could also have an adverse effect on his bat (SEE CARLOS SANTANA).
Speaking of Santana, how anyone can justify a trade for him is beyond me. He's so underrated. Great power, puts up great AB's and compensates a sub AVG with one of the best OBP's in the league (league leader in walks). Also well above average defensively.
I agree that Kipnis has had a poor year at the plate and a terrible one defensively, but you have to remember he is 75% healthy at best and he brings such positive energy to the clubhouse (same as Chisenhall) which is under looked.
I'm not as high on Urshela as others. I really think he would just be an above avg defender but an automatic out with extremely low OBP.
I really hope the rotation can stick as it is now for next season and maybe look at acquiring an innings eater no.2/3/4 guy because we just haven't had long enough outings from Bauer Salazar and House which is starting to tax the bullpen in my opinion.
Anyway I think we are playing reasonable ball right now and are not without a shot of still making some noise. I like the problems that are created out of the emergence of guys like Ramirez Aguilar Lindor Ramsay and Urshela.
Interesting article but I am not sure I agree with the premise. If you really want to trade players having good years why don't you start with Brantley or Gomes? Chisenhall really only had a bad month of July and has hit well otherwise. I love Urshela's potential but he doesn't look ready for the majors. I do not think Lindor should start next year in the majors either. I have read all the comments and agree that Chis is not a great defender but wonder if he is that much worse than Kipnis. I do thank he has more tools than Kipnis but who knows if he craters next year. The big difference to me is that the Indians already have a better 2B already on the roster. He is playing SS now but may not much longer. There is not a better 3B on the roster now than Chis. I do not see a surplus of power in Cleveland and would not willingly part with a run producer like Chis.
I could stomach a Swisher or Bourn for Edwin Jackson deal... and here's why. First, Jackson does has a decent track record. This year, his BABIP is .352 and he's had some walk problems. Expose him to the wonder that is Mickey Callaway and I think he could be the pitcher he was a few years ago. Also, it will help getting him out of Wrigley. That gives the Indians some needed pitching depth as well.
Just to make this clear as well, I don't not expect Victor Martinez to be in an Indians uniform. First, it wouldn't shock me if he gets a QO and secondly, I don't see the FO paying a strict DH 15 million a year. This would be an ideal situation (at least in my eyes) and I think it's something the Indians should seriously consider. That proposed lineup has length, balance, power, and some speed. Add a reclamation project in Jackson and possibly unload Kipnis' contract for a solid prospect and use the savings towards Martinez.
I'm not sure what they should do with Kipnis though. Part of me would be okay with trading him, but the other part of me says there's still talent in that bat and the Indians will be selling extremely low with him. I think you can live with the defense if the other 3 spots are solid defensively.
The key is unloading Murphy. I'm actually in the minority who feels Bourn can still play (when his legs are under him). Unfortunately, Swisher has to DH and he's not going anywhere with that contract. The key is finding someone to play 3rd base. I'm not sold on Urshela quite yet... Love his defense, but I feel the Jack Hannahan comp is pretty spot on. Solid bench player, but I don't think he's going to hit enough. Everyone is getting caught up on the fact that he's right handed. This kid has only hit for one year in the minors.
What I'd love to see is getting rid of Swisher's contract, trading Murphy, moving Chiz to RF and then signing Victor Martinez. Professional hitter... Brantley Martinez Santana/Gomes... Where do I sign up. Can't do that though unless Swisher is unloaded. I think that solves a ton of problems and you can get away with playing Urshela at 3rd as his bat won't be needed to produce as much.
My ideal line up:
JRam SS (Until Lindor is ready)
And who knows... if something like this happens, Kipnis is expendable. Like Tony said, maybe there's a Kipnis, JRam/Lindor, etc package out there to get someone like a Stanton.
Given, his slide started the second half of 2013, but if he kept up his pace from the first half it'd be a robbie alomar quality season at least from an offensive standpoint. And seeing he's the gold standard for second basemen that's a pretty high expectation. If he could get to a silver level(think .275 15hrs-18hrs 75 rbis .350OBP .450 slugging), I'll take that.
If you could guarantee a right handed outfielder who could get 20+ hrs, .340OBP, that won't trip over his feet in the outfield for Kip I'd take it but I doubt we could get that after this season. Wait a year...
I miss the roids era.
I do believe Chisenhall's cannon will play in right and Kipnis speed will be adequate in left. Brantley graded out better in CF this year and his offense would really be elite at that position. Jose Ramirez plays second and Lindor plays SS, Urshela, Walters (if he can handle it) and Aviles handle 3B. Swisher and Aguilar can share DH duties and backup first base. Tyler Holt is the backup OF. The other positions are pretty obvious and I'll leave the pitching staff for another day.
chiiz. he very well could make 2015 his breakout year like brantley did this year. That swing of his is awfully impressive and aa .350 ba against left handers which he couldnt hit before 2014 but 100 or so ab's against llefties indicates it may be premature. lindor should make those around him better the ggood ss usually do. so sign michael cuddyer if the price tag is reasonable he is 35 or so so not highly desireable and years on turf he may only have one year in him but sure would like to see us go for him.
Trading Kipnis would allow everything to fall into place. JRam moves to 2B, his best position from what I've been told. That opens up SS for Lindor. Urshela plays 3rd, which means we replace the worst defensive 3B in baseball with one of the best, plus we add a much needed right-handed bat. Chisenhall moves to RF. His arm is strong enough and he runs well. He's hitting over .350 against lefties so he wouldn't have to be platooned.
Jesus Aguilar takes over at DH, giving us another much-needed right-handed power bat. Murphy and Raburn get traded, even if we have to eat salary. Swisher takes over Giambi's role as cheerleader and clubhouse veteran presence.
We end up with the best defensive infield in baseball and a more balanced offense with three switch hitters plus Urshela, Gomes, and Aguilar in our right-handed lineup, and the three switch hitters plus Brantley, Bourn, and Chiz in our left-handed lineup.
Anyway, everyone is right.....this lineup needs a major overhaul. Kip, Chis, Bourn, Aviles and Murphy are all tradeable and should be traded to open some spots, reduce payroll, improve defense, and enable a bigger dollar allocation to sign a starting pitcher. Lindor at SS, Ramirez at 2B, Walters at 3B and Ramsey at RF and Holt in CF would be improvement. Aguilar is sort of odd man out as long as Swish is with us, but I don't see Swish as tradeable.
Not a fan of trading Santana, at all. Team friendly contract, hits well out of 1B, and these days how does a team replace 22 HR? Not very easily.....
I get that Santana is our sole HR hitter and I've been impressed by the reports of his improved fielding since taking over at 1st but I guess what I'm wondering is could his value net us a quality OFer and we fill his absence with Chiz moving over to first base primarily. Vs. lefties, Urshela could get the starts at 3rd and Aguilar could at DH or an occasional 1st base and vs. certain tough righties Chiz could cover 3rd with Swisher at 1st.
Of course that is provided that we get a substantial RF bat in return for Santana someone who helps ease the loss of his power in the lineup. OR buy into some other combo of players in that position and add a McAllister or Tomlin or Scrabble to net a strong SP?
The starting 2015 outfield of Chiz-Brantley-Murphy or Brantley-Bourn-Chiz is a pretty thought, but just so unlikely. I doubt anybody considered more than a 1-yr deal for Murphy last off-season, he still can't hit LHP, and he's due $6M next season plus a $500k buyout for 2016. Bourn is untradeable unless he morphs back into a 30 SB guy with plus defense. Maybe those go hand in hand as well. Aviles is probably better defensively at 3B than Chiz, but that sub-.300 OBP is hard to stomach for a non-slugging, average D 3B.
Tough decisions ahead to be sure. At least the Indians seem to have decently cheap starting pitching and a lot of cheap bullpen arms to off-set the pain of eating some position player salary in a trade/cut.
I see Kipnis as a far bigger problem than Chiz - especially since J Ram should be an ideal 2b.
The whole issue of lineup is critical. We lost in the 9th last night - but did not score after the first. Our offense stinks and it must be improved. Our D stinks and it must be improved.
We are in a unique situation as we actually have talent pushing from Columbus.
I personally like the idea of Chiz to RF. He has a cannon for an arm and I believe he will hit.
Just last night Kipnis allowed a guy to first on a gb to 2nd.
I also note all the bitching about Murphy - we miss his bat badly. Check out his RBIs.
I would trade Santana if we got any reasonable value. That opens the way to Aquillar.
Ultimately we will have to decide if we are going to dedicate next year to development of rookies so that we can have a better 2016.
I see Bourn, Rayburn, Aviles, Murphy or Swisher not with the team next year.
That means that the outfield will have Brantley in centerfield, Walters - LF and Jason K in right field.
Infield: Lonnie - 3B, Lindor - ss, J Ram - 2b and Carlos - 1B. Speed at top of line-up with Lindor and J Ram. DH Jesse A (right hand power bat) Depends upon if Lindor can hit major league pitching??
If you trade Chisenhall, you better be pretty confident that Urshela can hit in the majors, and that his defense is what it's supposed to be. This is another one where it seems like it would be tough to make a move like that this year, Chisenhall might have decent value in a trade, certainly more than last year, but you don't want to leave a hole at 3b. I think it makes the most sense to get Chisenhall some work in the outfield, so you can give Urshela some opportunities at 3b and keep Lonnie in the lineup.
Going to be very interesting to see what the Indians do this offseason. Something has to give because they can't just bring back the same offense and hope for anything different next year.
Too often we seem to want to promote untested minor leaguers as if they are can't miss. Lonnie was a can't miss prospect and it took him 5+ Hears to settle in. Let's not throw away that investment.
Been saying for at least 2 years Lonnie isn't the answer.
Kipnis? What happened to him???
Bourn has to go. .260s with a horrible k/bb
ratio. An 8 hitter. Not leadoff.
Santana. Unless he cuts his swing down is not a 4 or 5 hitter. We are not putting him 4th to walk a ton and hit 230!!
No reason Gomes should b below Santana. Took Tito forever to get him out of 7 or 8 hole.
Overhaul the lineup and go young and athletic. What in the hell we have to lose. Hitting or lack thereof has killed this team all year. It's score 10 then 4 games of 2 or so.
We need a leadoff and cleanup hitter. So how do we get them Chris????
i think the banging of the drum should be to hold these idiots in the front office accountable for these horrible contracts they are handing out
I like Urshela and all but I think this is Chisenhall replacement talk is really premature. Urshela is only 22 years old and his minor league track record of hitting before this season was quite mediocre. I don’t think anyone really considered him much of a prospect going into this season, and now people are talking about replacing a 25 year old, former 1st round pick, talented hitter Lonnie Chisenhall. To me, that sounds more like ‘buying high’ on Urshela than ‘selling high’ on Chisenhall. Urshela’s bat in MLB would probably really suck next year. Are we seriously anxious to start a guy next year in MLB that has a career minor league slash line of .268/.304/.404 as a 23 year old??? No thanks. I think Urshela may be a nice MLB player but that’s around 3 years away.
It happens every year, time and time again. If you go back and read reports on this website in 2010 and 2011, you’ll read about how great of a hitter Lonnie Chisenhall was going to be and how his arm and infield skills would produce a likely MLB-average defender at 3B. He was #1 prospect in 2011, #2 prospect in 2010. Now that Lonnie Chisenhall is actually in the major leagues, people are ready to bail on him. Why??
Sites like this and Baseball America are trying to sell subscriptions, and you don’t get that by talking about how these prospects suck and that there’s nothing to be excited about in the minor leagues. So, they talk up these prospects to get attention, get $$ from subscribers and build unrealistic expectations for these prospects so that when they finally get to MLB they can’t help but disappoint fans b/c they aren’t as good as the superlatives used to sell these guys when they were prospects.
In two years people will be complaining about Francisco Lindor batting .260 with only modest power, no SB’s. Go back and look at past years’ top prospect lists and you’ll be disappointed with 90% of the guys on the lists. Bottom line is people expect too much out of these prospects and people complaining about Chisenhall and requesting that Giovani Urshela replacing him is a perfect example of that.
1. Kipnis replaced by Ramirez
2. Chisenhall replaced by Urshela
3. Aviles replaced by Walters
4. Bourn replaced by Holt or Ramsey
5. Murphy replaced by Moncrief
6. Tomlin replaced by Cloyd or Arias
7. Raburn replaced by Aguilar
Again, I don't trade anyone just to trade them, if you can't get anything of value in return then retain them. Keep in mind that value in trading someone like Bourn or Swisher(if it were possible) is of the finiancial sort.
There has to be a safety net for young players. Some will most certainly struggle at some point, but the improvements that they could bring outweighs that risk for me. Personally, I see it just as or more likely that a downward trend occurs for some of the players that I suggested be replaced. It is also likely that the Indians could receive more value by trading a player like Ramirez over Kipnis, and I'm ok with that as long as the team that is trading for him holds his value as highly as Kipnis'.
This is the most young, MLB ready talent that this team has had in quite some time. They have accumulated some valuable assets and I hope they can use them to improve the team. Signings like Dickerson, Raburn, Bourn, Aviles, Swisher, and Murphy can now officially stop. If you can't sign a top talent to improve the team then save your money until you can would be my motto. Just sayin.
As for trading Chisenhall or Kipnis...I say, either, whatever deal they can work out for a SP. I think Kipnis has more value, but Chisenhall might be a better fit for some teams.
Ramirez should improve on his average and he has looked like a rookie the past few games, but he can bunt , run and seems to be very strong at SS. If other GM really like Lindor, then trade him and keep Ramirez
Santana has already peaked and we need a better situational hitter
Chisenhall, Murphy, Aviles, McAllister to Reds
Leake and Bruce
Do you give Santana another shot over there next spring? I don;t think so.. Aguilar? Ha. J-Ram? Agree it would be a waste of his skill and besides, I am sort of in disagreement with some on this site and think he could easily be an average (if not better) SS in the majors.
The real question is: is Lindor now a trade chip? I say yes, but the return would have to be "major". Personally I think I'd gamble on a F.A as there are a few options out there for 2015. (Headley?) or or I can dream.. . A. Ramirez or even Hanley??? Chiz is available in a trade but the return is as questionable as is KIpnis's ability to play 3B.
I don't think Kipnis at third is an option though. I mean, anything can happen, but a big reason why Kipnis was moved from the outfield to second base out of college was because of the limited arm. And I just see him as out of position at third. But that's just how I see it. I might be complete wrong!
I think I would rather see them NOT pickup Mike Aviles option and instead keep Jose Ramirez on as the super utility guy. Ramirez can play short until Lindor is up in May-June. And they also have Zach Walters around I guess or could go out and get a cheap shortstop depth option on a minor league non-guaranteed deal. But of course, they will probably keep Aviles around because Francona loves his veterans and they will want a little more proven experience at shortstop until Lindor takes the job ful time.
I could also see them keeping Chisenhall and using him more as a corner utility guy and someone to bridge the transition of Urshela to Cleveland. The ideal solution is for Urshela and Lindor to both make it and be solid or more offensive contributors because they will do a world of good for the defense.
The Indians are in a tough spot because of some of the contracts they have out on Swisher, Bourn, Murphy and to an extend Raburn....and also their overcommittment to veterans like Aviles.
The Tribe definitely has some options... They could trade any number of players... Chisenhall, Kipnis, Urshela, JRam, Aguilar or even Lindor.
Honestly, I've wondered if they have been playing JRam because they like him or they are playing him because they think he's a great trade chip in the near future. I'd like to see the Tribe make every effort to keep him.
Then there's Mike Aviles - there's a possibility that the Tribe declines his option and looks to bank his $3.5M salary in a pitching upgrade. I doubt that happens, I think they opt to keep Aviles in the UTL role next yr. There are a numerous variables, Aviles, and JRam could be traded. Chisenhall or even Kipnis could be moved to the OF or traded this offseason, it's really anyone's guess how they will handle the lineup. What's obvious is it cannot remain the same.