Tribe Gets Michaels As Prelude To Crisp Deal

The Indians pulled off a six-player trade
with the Red Sox on Friday in which Coco Crisp and third-base prospect
Andy Marte were the principals, but they first set the stage for that
deal with a smaller one earlier in the day. Cleveland replaced Crisp in
left field by obtaining Jason Michaels from the Phillies for Arthur
Rhodes.

Michaels, 29, will get his first chance to be an everyday
player. He’s coming off a .304/.399/.415 season with four homers and 31
RBIs in 105 games (289 at-bats) in 2005, but he wasn’t going to crack a
Philadelphia outfield of Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand and Bobby Abreu.
Michaels did a good job of tightening his strike zone last year, though
it came at the expense of some power. He’s a slightly above-average
runner and left fielder, and he has the versatility to also play center
and right. Michaels signed for $1.5 million rather than pursue
arbitration this offseason. He’s a career .291/.380/.442 hitter in 383
games.

Rhodes, a 36-year-old lefty, posted his lowest ERA since 2001
last year. He went 3-1, 2.08 with 16 holds in 47 outings and had a
43-12 K-BB ratio in 43 innings. Opponents batted just .206 with two
homers against him, and he actually was tougher on righthanders than
lefthanders. He left the Indians in mid-September for personal reasons.
Rhodes continues to throw in the low 90s, and he had better command and
seemingly more confidence last season. His slider is his best pitch,
and he also uses a curveball and changeup at times. Rhodes will make
$4.8 million in 2006, the final season of a three-year, $9.2 million
contract he originally signed with the Athletics as a free agent. He
has a lifetime 75-55, 4.26 record with 26 saves and 146 holds in 598
contests.

Majors | #2006 #Trade Central

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