Trade Central: Indians Land Guyer For Two Prospects


After their trade for Jonathan Lucroy fell through Sunday morning when the catcher exercised his no-trade clause, the Indians changed gears and were able to supplement their offense Monday with a trade for Brandon Guyer. In exchange, Cleveland sends outfielder Nathan Lukes and righthander Jhonleider Salinas to Tampa Bay.

Guyer has played all three outfield positions this year for the Rays and will provide a righthanded-hitting complement to the Indians’ lefthanded-hitting outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin, as well as further insurance should Michael Brantley remain sidelined by injury. Guyer’s presence also should free up Jose Ramirez to play more third base, especially after Juan Uribe was designed for assignment Monday.

The Rays pick up a pair of prospects in the lower levels of the minors. Neither Lukes nor Salinas have high ceilings, but both have a tool that gives them a chance to develop into big leaguers in time.

Nathan Lukes, of
Age: 22

Lukes went to Sacramento State as a walk-on and left as a seventh-round pick and the Hornets’ career hits leader. He continued to hit this season in his first full professional season, and earned a promotion to high Class A Lynchburg in July. He has fringy to average tools across the board, but has shown he has a knack for putting the bat on the ball. Lukes played right field in college, but the Indians used him exclusively as a center fielder. He is a capable outfielder with solid-average arm strength, but his value going forward is tied to how much he continues to hit.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
 Lake County (MWL) LoA .301 89  342  54 103  21 8 5  32 37 60 14  .375 .453
Lynchburg (CAR) HiA .261 5 23 3 6 1 0 0 1 0 5 1 .261 .304

Jhonleider Salinas, rhp
Age: 20

Salinas was 19 when the Indians signed him out of Venezuela last spring. He made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League and made his U.S. debut this summer in the Rookie-level Arizona League. He has a strong arm and has run his fastball up to 96 mph. His secondary pitches are all in the early stages of their development, with his slider showing the most promise. After walking nearly a batter an inning in the DSL (40 walks in 40 2/3 innings), Salinas has done a better job of throwing strikes this season. He is still very early in his development but may have a future as a hard-throwing reliever.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
Indians (AZL) Rookie 3 2 3.30 9 4 30 26 13 11 1 14 38

Brandon Guyer, of
Age: 30

Guyer, a 2007 fifth-round pick out of Virginia, went to the Rays in 2011 as a part of the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs. He eventually established himself as a versatile regular, playing more than 10 games at all three outfield positions in both of the last two seasons. Power is not a big part of his game, but he is adept at getting on base. He has been hit by a pitch 23 times this year, the most in baseball, and was plunked 24 times last year. He was sidelined almost all of June by a strained hamstring, and has scuffled at the plate since returning to the lineup. But throughout Guyer’s career, he has hit lefthanders well (.848 OPS), and that will likely be what the Indians ask him to do most down the stretch.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
 Tampa Bay (AL)  MLB .241  63  212 27  51 12 1  7  18  12  42  2 .347  .406


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