MLB Trade Rumors: Indians in talks with Red Sox for Masterson, Choo

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona could be sending some of his current players to his old team.

Earlier this week, reports circulated which called the Indians the “center of trade activity.” Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi piles on to the latest slew of rumors surrounding the team, stating that the Tribe’s front office is in talks that could send outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and starting pitcher Justin Masteron to Boston.

“It’s not clear how advanced the talks are,” writes Morosi, “but the fit is obvious: The Red Sox have the ability to take on payroll after unloading roughly $250 million in contracts three months ago, and the Indians are willing to listen to offers for virtually every player on their roster.”

Masterson was acquired the trade that sent long-time catcher Victor Martinez to Boston; he had played for Francona as well as Boston’s recently hired manager John Farrell during his time with the team. Both men reportedly admire Masterson, but the issue will exist in the fact that the right-hander is currently the Indians’ ace but would have the value of a middle-of-the-rotation starter in Boston.

Choo, the team’s most consistent bat over the last three seasons (save for the injury-riddled campaign in 2011), would add a middle-of-the-order bat that would slot behind outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Per Morosi, the Red Sox would be “more enthused” about Choo if he had more than one year left before free agency, but their newfound payroll flexibility could make it more feasible to keep him after 2013.

[Related: Indians trades need to look like more than cost cutting]

  • thepaledragon

    If they are looking to trade Masterson, does that mean the front office thinks that 2011 was the fluke, and that 2012 is closer to what they expect his future production to be? Because it seems to me that if he returns to 2011 form that he would be someone the Indians would have to hold onto and build a rotation around.

  • typo

    I don’t mind a fire sale, however I seriously doubt the ability of Antonetti to maximize the returns.

  • AlexMathews

    The question, as always, is…what kind of talent are we getting in return?

  • mgbode

    i think if someone is willing to pay based on 2011 stats, then you deal Masterson. if they want to pay based on 2012 stats, then you keep him.

    but, i think you always listen to all offers.

  • mgbode

    ok, this is intriguing. i wonder if we would allow Boston to negotiate with Choo/Boras for a window to help close this deal (they are one of the few teams that conceivably could get a deal done in a small window with them).

    we already got Aviles, may be getting more ex-Francona Red Sox. may make a play for Youk. wonder who else he has his eye on and if he ends up taking this too far.

  • Dee P

    It’s fine….but it just sucks that for years I hated the Red Sox and now were are on the verge of being flooded with them. Such is 21st century sports I guess…

  • Harv 21

    exactly. Not sure how we can deem anything a good deal unless/until he demonstrates some ability to identify decent future major leaguers.

  • nj0

    I guess it depends on the return, but trading Masterson signals to me that 2013 will be more of a rebuilding year than one where we plan to contend.

  • mgbode

    you expect to contend after what we just witnessed with them?

  • mgbode

    as long as Beckett, Schilling, and Papi stay away, then I’ll be okay

  • 216in614

    Choo yes. Selling low on Masterson makes no sense.

  • Wheel

    I would trade them all, except Chisenhall, Kipnis and Pestano. I don’t care if we lose 120 games. Boston seems like a good fit, but I sure like the possible prospects we can get from St. Louis, especially Taveras and Shelby Miller. As has been said, I have no confidence in the ability of Antonetti and Shapiro to get great value in return. Finally, it is a damn shame that we have to do a fire sale because the organization has no one ready to play in the big leagues.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    LoL you should be so lucky but more importantly this is why I’ve always chalked the “I hate this player” or “I hate this team” yea until that player is on your team, up to irrational sports fanism.

  • Garry_Owen

    I think Youklis is a fait accompli.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The Indians can’t afford to take the chance the Red Sox can which is why instead of being atop the rotation Masterson would most likely be in the middle of any Boston rotation. This is how I’ve always valued him. A staff ace can’t rely on basically two pitches one of which isn’t even a fastball.

  • mgbode

    if the Indians would sign AJ Piercyznski, I would continue hating him.
    as I hated David Justice during his time on the Tribe.

  • mgbode

    it feels that way (every article basically stating we are replacing Kotchman, Francona rekindling w/ players he managed, etc)

  • Garry_Owen

    And for the record, I’m absolutely okay with it. Should have happened this season.

  • mgbode

    Masterson is locked into his current contract, so the risk is actually more similar than if we had to extend him now. As far as where he would slot into the rotation, it will depend on if Boston decides to become players on Anibal (Greinke seems unlikely).

    but, Masterson had a similar 2012 to Bucholz and Lester. it’s not like they are teeming with SPs presently (yes, that can change).

  • Dee P

    I’ll be the first to admit I am one of those “irrational sports fans” you mentioned….and I say that with pride. To me it makes it way more fun to have pure hatred for other teams and opponents, and pure love for “my” guys. The higher the emotional attachment is to sports, the more fun it becomes….at least to me.

  • mgbode

    i’m okay with it at a fair rate. even for Chicago he was barely above a league average hitter. but, he can play good defense and be a league average hitter (and is a RHB), which makes him better than Kotchman right there.

    any improvement is an improvement (check on his health), but it’s a small one in the grand scheme.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Sounds like a personal issue not one that effects the Indians.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Whatever floats your boat dude.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’d much prefer to take my chances with either Bucholz or Lester atop my rotation then Masterson. Masterson’s strongsuit is his health something which make the previous two a little more shaky. But go on pitching and I’ll take Bucholz and Lester.

  • nj0

    No, not at all. I’ve been calling for a rebuild from mid-season, but the front office has refused to admit that such is in the cards.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    Exactly…I’d hate him as much as I hated Jamal Lewis, Braylon Edwards, Brady Quinn…wait, why is it always the Browns that acquire the players I despise?

  • mgbode

    no, the -e-ffect of such a signing on me would not -a-ffect the Indians

  • mgbode

    Lester has more history of success, but he was no better than Masterson in 2012.

    Bucholz peripherals have always been shaky and last year his raw numbers were as well.

    I would actually say that Lester has the highest probability of future success (based on past merits), then Masterson, then Bucholz.

    Clay has always been overhyped because his raw ERA had a great year in 2010 while all his peripherals were screaming it was a fluke. Masterson’s fluky year at least had his peripherals backing up his raw stats.

  • Wow

    I’m amazed anyone is paying attention to this minor league team.

  • I say choo juan diaz to az for upton. Or even cabrera and a prospect