CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Indians have talked to Detroit about left-hander Justin Wilson.
The Tribe’s interest was first reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, but there is a problem. The price keeps going up on Wilson as more and more contenders inquire about him.
The Indians have found it hard to make deals with AL Central rivals such as the Tigers. The Tigers, for one thing, might not want to trade him to the Tribe and have to face him six more times this season and 19 times next year. The Indians have found that when they’ve tried to make deals within the division in the past, the asking price goes up.
They ran into the same situation earlier this month when they talked to the Tigers about outfielder J.D. Martinez.
Still Wilson is a tempting target. He’d be eligible for arbitration as the end of this season, but they’d control him through 2018.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 27, 2017
The Indians are looking for a left-handed reliever to replace injured Boone Logan (left lat) to take the burden off Andrew Miller. Logan was supposed to get a second opinion on his torn lat muscle Wednesday in Chicago, but it doesn’t sound as if he’ll be back anytime soon.
The Indians have options in the minors in lefties Kyle Crockett and Tyler Olson, but it appears they’re looking for a more experienced reliever.
Wilson has taken over the closer’s job for the Tigers since Francisco Rodriguez was released. He’s 3-4 with a 2.75 ERA and 12 saves. He’s struck out 55 and walked 16 in 39 1/3 innings.
There are other lefty relievers that could be on the market including: San Diego’s Brad Hand, Cincinnati’s Tony Cingrani and Toronto’s Aaron Loup. Starters such as Francisco Liriano and Clayton Richards have pitched out of the bullpen as well. There have been rumors about Baltimore closer Zach Britton being available, but he’s making $11.4 million this year and has been dealing with forearm issues.
The deadline for making trades without waivers is 4 p.m. Monday.
When Indians talk trade with a team, they are usually asked about three players – center fielder Bradley Zimmer and prospects Triston McKenzie and Francisco Mejia. Those three players aren’t untouchable – remember what the Indians gave up for Miller last year at the deadline – but it’s highly unlikely the Indians would deal any of them.
Zimmer, a rookie, has given the Indians speed, power and defense since joining the big-league club on May 16. He’s hitting .281 (55-for-196) with 12 doubles, seven homers and 35 RBI. Zimmer has scored 28 runs, stolen 12 bases in 13 attempts and posted a .800 OPS.
McKenzie, a right-hander, is 9-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 19 starts at Class A Lynchburg. McKenzie has struck out 140 batters and walked 38 in 108 2/3 innings. He was a No.1 pick by the Indians in 2015.
Mejia, a switch-hitting catcher, is hitting .322 (79-for-245) with 10 homers…