With their season heading quickly in the wrong direction, the Cleveland Indians send closer Bob Wickman to the Atlanta Braves for catching prospect Max Ramirez.
The move was the first of several as the Indians unloaded prior to the non-waivers trade deadline. Just one season after flirting with the postseason, the Indians are a disappointing 42-52 and 21 games out of first place at the time of the trade. Wickman started the season 1-4 for the Tribe with a 4.18 ERA in 29 games, with 15 saves in 18 opportunities, after saving a career-high 45 games and making the American League All-Star team in 2005. He will save 18 more for the Braves while earning a 1.04 ERA in his return to the National League.
Ramirez will spend just a year in the Indians organization before he is shipped off to the Texas Rangers for long-time Cleveland outfielder Kenny Lofton. Ramirez will bounce around baseball after that, spending time with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, Kansas City Royals, and Cincinnati Reds, but he will log just 45 total MLB games with the Rangers in 2008 and 2010.
The Indians had already sent first baseman/designated hitter Eduardo Perez to the Seattle Mariners for infield prospect Asdrubal Cabrera at the end of June. In less than a week, they will trade the other half of their first base platoon, Ben Broussard, to join Perez in Seattle for outfield prospect Shin-Soo Choo and a player to be named later (Shawn Nottingham). A day before the deadline, they will move second baseman Ronnie Belliard to St. Louis for infielder Hector Luna and will sell veteran Todd Hollandsworth to the Reds, catcher Einar Diaz to the Dodgers, and reliever Guillermo Mota to the Yankees in August.