Pair of Designated Indians Dealt to Dodgers
Bob Toth | On 10, Apr 2016
The Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers completed a trade this afternoon, as the Tribe sent minor league outfielders James Ramsey and Zach Walters to the Evil Empire of the West for cash considerations.
Ramsey and Walters were both roster crunch casualties earlier in the week when the Indians needed to make room on the 40-man roster for Joba Chamberlain, Marlon Byrd, and Ross Detwiler. The two, along with reliever Giovanni Soto, were designated for assignment and the Indians had ten days to place the trio on waivers, trade, or release the prospects.
The Dodgers created room for their two new outfielders by placing outfielder Andre Ethier (broken leg) and pitcher Josh Ravin (broken arm) on the 60-man disabled list, creating roster spots on the 40-man roster for both. As both Ramsey and Walters had minor league options remaining, they were sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Ramsey, 26, was coming off of a rough first season in his first full year in the Indians organization and at the Triple-A level. Playing in a career-high 126 games for the Clippers, he hit .243 with 21 doubles, two triples, a dozen homers, and drove in 42. He struck out 128 times in those games.
He should have been on pace for a late season call-up in 2015, especially with the outfield reconstruction that took place at Progressive Field in late July and the first week of August, but his poor play saw his season end when the Clippers lost in the Triple-A National Championship Game.
Despite not capitalizing on a good opportunity, the Indians added him to the 40-man roster in November in advance of the Rule 5 draft that December. He was previously acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline in 2014 for pitcher Justin Masterson.
Walters, also 26, has logged 82 games of time in the Majors between Washington and Cleveland between 2013 and 2015. He showed good pop when he joined the Indians lineup after being acquired on July 31, 2014, from the Nationals in the deadline deal that shipped Asdrubal Cabrera to the nation’s capital, the same day that brought Ramsey to the organization. Walters had seven homers, two doubles, and 12 RBI in 30 games of action, but hit .170 with 32 strikeouts in 94 plate appearances for Cleveland.
Last season, he appeared in 12 games for the Indians and got 30 plate appearances. He had four singles, three RBI, no walks, and 15 strikeouts for a straight .133/.133/.133 triple slash. In 91 games at Columbus, he hit .249 with 21 doubles, three triples, ten homers, and 48 RBI. The versatile utility man had played every position on the diamond during his professional career except pitcher, catcher, and center field.
The status of Soto remains unresolved, but his situation should become clearer in the coming days.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images