A busy off season of roster retooling is now underway for the Cleveland Indians with the trade of Erik Gonzalez. The infielder and utility man has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a five-player deal.
The Indians include a pair of minor league pitching prospects in Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza.
The trade makes a lot of sense for the Indians. Luplow has spent time at the Major League level each of the last two seasons with the Pirates. Cleveland is in desperate need of outfielders with Major League experience. Luplow bats right handed and can play either corner outfield position. He also has one minor league option remaining. So the Indians don’t have to rush him to the big leagues if he is not ready to start the 2019 season.
“Jordan is a right-handed-hitting outfielder with almost a year of Major League experience,” Indians’ president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti, said. “He’s capable of playing all three outfield spots. He’s spent most of the time in left and right, but we also believe he has the ability to play center field. He complements our roster really well.”
Moroff can serve as a utility infielder for the Indians in 2019. He is out of options so the Indians will have to have him on the Major League roster or risk losing him. Moroff is a switch-hitter who can play second base, shortstop or third base.
Gonzalez is out of minor league options. In other words, the opportunity to play on a regular basis is not going to happen with the Indians.
“As our roster has taken shape over the past few seasons, we have not had an opportunity for him to play regularly,” Antonetti said. “We feel this will give Erik an opportunity to play more with Pittsburgh and continue his career and potentially blossom into the everyday player we think he can be.”
Cleveland also wants to get more playing time for Yandy Diaz because of his hitting.