Obviously, most fans are pretty disappointed with this Indians squad thus far and, especially, with the pitching. There are a few schools of thought bouncing around: to hold our hand and see what happens, to make some small moves to try to get things turned around (bringing up a new fifth starter, making bullpen adjustments by moving guys between the minors and majors), trading some of our proven veterans (TM) like Boone, Blake, or Broussard for some future pieces, etc etc. Well, something that's been tossed around a bit but not explored too in-depth is the idea of a blockbuster deal. I submit to you, Dontrelle Willis:
Dontrelle is 3-6 this year with a 4.32 ERA. His BB:K is weak (29:46) and he has not looked great this year. Still, I think it's pretty obvious that Dontrelle is unhappy and umotivated playing for the Marlins-the team was sold out from under him, leaving only him and Cabrera out of what was formerly a galaxy of stars.
The hope is that a change of scenery could produce a Dontrelle more like last year, 22-10 2.63, or even the year before 10-11, 4.03. In either of those years, his peripherals are relatively strong. My impression is that the real Dontrelle lies somewhere between the 2004, 2005, and 2006 versions, I think something like a 3.40-3.70 ERA kind of starter.
His real problem this year was May, when he was 0-5 with a 6.45 ERA, so the change of scenery might not even be necessarry-he might be reverting to the old Dontrelle regardless of where he pitches. He's been dominant in his two June starts.
One of the other real positives is that Dontrelle has been very durable (34 and 32 starts the last two years) while managing to complete a remarkable number of games. He completed 2 in 204, 7 in 2005, and has already completed 2 this year. This only bodes well for a team with as many bullpen problems as the Indians.
So, if I've convinced you that Dontrelle could help the Indians, the next question is what kind of ransom would such a player require? I'm becoming quickly exhausted of this exercise, so I'm going to assume the Marlins pretty much want anything. They're system is strong and relatively even in terms of pitching and hitting (I think). It's worth noting that some of their best prospects are already in the Majors.
What I'm equivocating here is that I don't ahve the time or energy to really look at what the Marlins would want, so I'm going to try to generate a couple of scenarios that might work. Also, I don't want to think about money.
The Indians could offer Sowers and Garko for Willis. I don't know if that's really enough. You might consider throwing in a third mid-level prospect, maybe somebody like Brad Snyder or Kouzmanoff (somehow I doubt he has a ton of value).
There's a good chance you can't do this deal with only prospects, so maybe you do Sowers and Blake, then pull Guitterez up. That doesn't quite look lke enough, so again throw in a middie prospect or maybe Garko. Maybe you leave Blake and sub in Michaels if they want him.
Sowers might not seem that great to Florida, so maybe you substitute Carmona in any of the above scenarios. Maybe you even go Carmona and Sowers for Willis. If Sowers or Carmona isn't what they want, think about substituting Cabrera.
Also, if the Marlins want any of our terrible players, like Boone, Johnson, or Mota, sure they can have them.
Willis is under contract through next year. The Indians could then think about locking him up. On a sort of downside, it would be yet another lefty for the rotation for both this year and next, but that's not the kind of thing I generally care about. Effective pitchers are effective pitchers.
I have to think the Marlins are willing to listen. Like I said, Dontrelle is gone after next year and I don't think Florida can possibly think they're going to win by then. After that, I don't think Dontrelle is going to want to come back.
Garko is certainly on my imaginary block. Vic needs to go to first soon if his defense is this bad, and Garko can't really catch (right?). I think we'll eventually see Vic at first and Shoppach, or the equivalent, catching.
Alright, and a credit, I'd thought about a lot of this stuff but there was a little comments discussion at http://indians.mostvaluablenetwork.com/ricks-tribe-report/game-62-ten-runs-just-enough/#comments
today and that got me really rolling and definitely deserve credit for the framework of the trade proposals.
Ok, this is just something to think about. If you think there's no chance in hell for this, I understand, but it's something fun to speculate about. If you think I've made Dontrelle's value way to low, just postulate who you'd have to give up to get him. Peralta? Sizemore (yeah right)?