Westbrook deal nets Tribe righty prospect
In exchange for veteran, Indians receive Kluber from Padres
CLEVELAND -- Credit the Indians with the trade and Jake Westbrook with the assist.The money that was expected to hold up any movement of Westbrook before Saturday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline turned out to be less of an issue than previously thought, and Westbrook was to thank.
With nearly $4 million remaining in his 2010 salary and another $2 million bonus coming his way if he was dealt, Westbrook's attractiveness on the trade market was slightly damaged in this economic climate. But after the Cardinals made a hard push for Westbrook on Friday, the Indians went to the veteran right-hander about lessening the amount of the bonus to ensure a deal got done. And it did get done, just in time for Westbrook to be scratched before his scheduled 1:07 p.m. ET start in Toronto against the Blue Jays on Saturday. In a three-team, four-player trade, Westbrook was sent to the Cardinals along with cash, and outfielder Ryan Ludwick was sent from the Cards to the Padres, who then sent Double-A right-hander Corey Kluber to the Tribe and Class A left-hander Nick Greenwood to the Cards. "Any way that I could help out the Indians, I needed to do that," said Westbrook, "because I didn't really feel like I honored my contract as well as I would have liked to, being hurt. It was in my best interest and the Indians' best interest to do something like that." Westbrook, who made his return from 2008 Tommy John surgery on Opening Day this year, is the latest former core player dealt by the Indians over the past three years. The remains of the Indians' 2007 American League Championship Series team have been whittled down to a precious few. Why did the Tribe trade Westbrook? Well, for one, Westbrook had only two months remaining on the contract extension he signed in 2007. So while the Indians are expected to make some attempt to sign the free-agent right-hander this offseason, it made sense to seek out a return for him now, given the standings. The Indians were willing to pay some of the remainder of Westbrook's contract (exactly how much they're paying was not immediately revealed) because they got back a Double-A prospect about whom they feel good. "For us, it's an opportunity to get back a Double-A starting pitcher to add to our upper-level depth," said assistant general manager Chris Antonetti, who will become the Tribe's full-time GM at season's end. "Kluber is a 6-foot-4 right-hander with a four-pitch mix. He has an above-average fastball with a plus breaking ball. He could be another upper-level Major League starter that can hopefully be part of our starting rotation down the road."
|In the three-team trade involving the Indians, Cardinals and Padres, San Diego gave up two Minor League pitchers. Here's some more information on Corey Kluber, who went to Cleveland, and Nick Greenwood, who is now a part of the Cardinals' organization.|
|Kluber was taken by the Padres in the fourth round of the 2007 Draft out of Stetson. The 24-year-old has spent the 2010 season in the Double-A Texas League, where he led all pitchers with 136 strikeouts in 122 2/3 IP and his 3.45 ERA was 11th. He's got a 4.29 ERA in his Minor League career with a 9.5 K/9 ratio. The right-hander relies largely on a two-pitch mix, with a fastball and slider, and a good feel for pitching. He profiles as a No. 5 starter type in the future.|
|The Padres took Greenwood, a 6-foot-1 lefty, out of the University of Rhode Island in the 14th round of the 2009 Draft. Scouts aren't particularly enamored with his stuff -- his fastball sits in the 88- to 91-mph range -- giving him below-average grades across the board. Used mostly as a starter with Fort Wayne in the Class A Midwest League, he's got a 4.15 ERA in 95 1/3 IP to date. In his brief career, he's been tough on left-handed hitters -- .190 batting average against and 7.21 K/9 vs. .287 and 6.31 against right-handers -- so perhaps he has a future as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen.|
|-- Jonathan Mayo|
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. He blogs about baseball at CastroTurf. MLB.com reporters Matthew Leach and Corey Brock contributed to this report. MLB.com reporters Corey Brock and Matthew Leach contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.