Within hours of Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia’s release from custody, the Indians announced a trade with the Colorado Rockies for some starting rotation insurance.
The Indians will receive former Minnesota Twin Kevin Slowey in exchange for reliever Zach Putnam. Since Putnam was already on the 40-man roster, no additional moves will need to be made in that regard.
The 27-year-old Slowey was originally drafted by the Twins in the second round of the 2005 draft. In five years with the Twins, Slowey was 39-29 with a 4.66 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He had an absolutely dreadful 2011 season in Minnesota, where he went 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. The Twins actually sent him to the minors, where he hadn’t pitched since 2008. They obviously had given up on him, because they traded him to the Rockies in December for a player to be named later.
The 24-year-old Putnam was drafted by the Indians in the 5th round of the 2008 draft. At Columbus in 2011, he was 6-3 with a 3.65 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 9 saves.
Look, I know that the whole Carmona situation probably frightened/confused everyone in the Indians organization (I am frightened/confused as well) since the starting rotation was the one aspect of the roster that seemed pretty stable heading into Spring Training. However, is this really the answer? Do you surrender a potential bullpen talent for someone that had as many wins in the Majors last year as I did? I’m not saying that Putnam was necessarily the next Mariano Rivera. At the same time, this doesn’t exactly sound like a very balanced trade to me. For Slowey’s numbers, you could have just kept Putnam and just thrown Jeanmar Gomez or David Huff out there. This move just seems to reek of desperation to me – the result of panic over the loss of Carmona.