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Shoppach Deal Complete, Indians Get Talbot

December 21, 2009
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UPDATE 12/21/2009 12:55 PM EST: The player to be named is indeed right-hander Mitch Talbot as speculated.  He has been added to the Indians 40-man roster.

Here is the official press release:

The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has acquired RHP MITCH TALBOT from the Tampa Bay Rays. Talbot is the player to be named in the December 1 trade that sent CA KELLY SHOPPACH to Tampa. The Indians also sent cash to the Rays in the transaction.

Talbot, 26, owns a minor league career record of 62-54 with a 3.79 ERA in 165 starts since being drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round of the 2002 draft (905.0IP, 911H, 381ER, 265BB, 748K). He was acquired by Tampa in July 2006 in a trade that sent Aubrey Huff to Houston. Mitch was named Triple-A Charlotte Pitcher of the Year in both 2007 and 2008, going 13-9 with a 3.86 ERA in 28 starts in 2008 (161.0IP, 165H, 69ER, 35BB, 141K) and appeared in 3 Major League games with the Rays that September.

The Cedar City, Utah native was limited to 10 starts for Triple-A Durham this past season due to a right elbow sprain. He went 4-4 with a 4.47 ERA in 10 starts for the Bulls (54.1IP, 67H, 27ER, 18BB, 40K) and ended the year healthy, making 2 starts in the International League playoffs. He entered the 2009 season as the 16th overall prospect in the Tampa Bay organization according to Baseball America and is now a member of the Indians 40-man roster. His change-up was tabbed the best in the International League and tops in the TB system after the 2008 season by BA.

UPDATE 12/21/2009 9:54 AM EST: Still nothing new at this time on who the player to be named is, but an announcement should be forthcoming in the matter or minutes/hours.

I have confirmed that one of the two players on the original list with Tampa Bay is right-hander Mitch Talbot.  As mentioned last night, though, additional players are in play than just the two players on the original list, which is why this deal has taken so long to complete.  The Indians may indeed end up with one of the two original players, but there is a chance they may receive a different kind of player since Tampa has some payroll and roster issues they are trying to sort through.

Only speculation on my part as no one has informed me of this, but there could also be a chance that additional players are swapped between the Indians and Rays to complete the deal in light of Tampa's recent situation.

UPDATE 12/21/2009 12:02 AM EST:  And so the deal is official.  Official in that the Indians and Rays have sent a timestamped e-mail to MLB by the 11:59 PM deadline Sunday night.  MLB will review the e-mail and verify the particulars of the trade, and once all parties involved are contacted the trade will be announced publicly.  While there is no confirmation at this time who the player to be named ended up being, it should be known sometime tomorrow by late morning or early afternoon.

UPDATE 12/20/2009 10:17 PM EST:  Some interesting last minute news on the Shoppach trade is still coming forth through various channels tonight here at the IPI.

Supposedly, according to an industry source I have talked to tonight the player pool the Indians have to choose from has expanded as a result of the Rafael Soriano trade the Rays completed on December 10th.  Since that trade, the Rays have supposedly contacted the Indians to see if they would be willing to re-work the deal, and it now appears the Indians may end up getting a different player than originally anticipated.

According to the source Tampa Bay is looking to unload some payroll and also has some 25-man roster issues they are trying to sift through in the wake of the Soriano trade.  As a result, this could affect what kind of a player the Indians ultimately get in the Shoppach trade as they may now get someone on their 25-man roster or who is just off it at the moment (40-man roster).  Tampa Bay has been talking to other teams about other potential deals, which is the reason why the player to be named has taken so long to identify and be completed in the Shoppach deal.  They are checking into all other options before completing the deal as originally setup (the two original players).  A quick check of Tampa Bay's roster and you can see that the most likely players they may be looking to trade in a separate deal tonight are Shoppach, Dioner Navarro, and Pat Burrell.

If they are able to trade one of those players, the Indians may still ultimately end up with Mitch Talbot or Joseph Cruz.  But the possibility now exists that the Indians may receive someone else, and maybe even a player who could fit on the 25-man roster next season.

Whatever happens, no deal will be announced tonight since MLB will not get an email verifying completion of the deal until close to midnight, and they will not verify it until tomorrow morning.

UPDATE 12/20/2009 9:41 PM EST: While the Indians have not picked a player as we near the midnight deadline tonight, I have just learned that there are actually more players involved than originally thought.  All along it was thought that the Indians were picking from a list of two players as the player to be named later for Shoppach, I have learned that there are actually more players involved than what has been reported the past few weeks by the media.  More players as in there are more than just the list of two the Indians were supposedly choosing from (and not that they are getting more than one player).

UPDATE 12/20/2009 9:28 PM EST:  Contrary to what the Tampa writer wrote earlier tonight as linked below in this update, the Indians are supposedly still working diligently looking over scouting reports, medical records, etc for the two players on the player to be named list and have NOT made a selection at this time.

Per Major League rules, the deal must be completed by midnight tonight and no extensions are allowed.  An announcement on the player should come sometime Monday morning or even late tonight once all particulars in the trade have been notified.

UPDATE 12/20/2009 8:45 PM EST:  Well, it looks like those waiting in earnest for the Indians announcement of who exactly the player to be named is in the Kelly Shoppach trade will have to wait patiently for one more day.  Word is that the Indians have delayed their announcement of the player until tomorrow, Monday December 21st.

Marc Tompkin of the St. Petersburg Times is reporting tonight that the Indians have made their pick from a list of two players, but the announcement has been delayed a day as the two teams are in the process of notifying the player.

Tompkin speculates that the player will be right-hander Mitch Talbot, just as beat reporter Anthony Castrovince mentioned over a week ago.  Castrovince had also mentioned that right-hander Joseph Cruz was the other player on the two player list the Indians had to choose from.

More on this as the story develops tonight through Monday.  I will update this post with anything new in the meantime.

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