Indians Trade For Tigers' Leonys Martin To Upgrade Outfield
They stayed in the division to find it.
The Indians acquired veteran outfielder Leonys Martin and righthanded pitching prospect Kyle Dowdy from the Tigers on Monday, sending back infield prospect Willi Castro in return.
The Indians become Martin’s fourth team in the last two years, and he figures to immediately see playing time in center field.
Leonys Martin, OF
Martin has quietly had a solid season in Detroit, playing a strong defensive center field and leading the American League with nine outfield assists. His .251/.321/.409 slash line and seven home runs aren’t eye-popping, but they represent a vast upgrade for the Indians, who have gotten a .242/.283/.326 line from their center fielders this season. Martin is arbitration-eligible after this season and won’t be a free agent until after the 2019 season.
Kyle Dowdy, RHP
A 12th-round pick of the Tigers in 2015, Dowdy split the year between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo and went 8-8, 4.74 overall in 24 games (14 starts). Dowdy sat 90-93 in college but has steadily added velocity in pro ball. He now averages 92 mph on his fastball and he touched 97 in his most recent outing. None of Dowdy's secondaries are particularly potent - an upper 80s cutter is his best secondary and he also has a changeup and curveball - but he offers some versatility as a pitcher who can start or relieve. He is generally seen as a future swingman, with the possibility a full-time move to the bullpen would allow his stuff to tick up.
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Willi Castro, SS
Castro ranked as the Indians' No. 9 prospect in their midseason update, largely because of his tools and youth rather than his numbers. Castro hit just .245 with five home runs and a .653 OPS at Double-A Akron this season, albeit as one of the youngest players at the level. The switch-hitting Castro shows promising traits. He doesn’t strike out much, is an above-average runner who steals bases efficiently (13-for-17 this year) and has the hands and arm strength to remain at shortstop. Though few think Castro will hit enough to be an everyday player, opposing evaluators still like him as a potential utilityman with his speed and middle infield defense.