The Cleveland Indians could have a shot at the World Series in 2016. At the very least, they could be playoff bound. They have one of the top pitching staffs in the American League and their offense has been pretty good as well. They are currently 6.5 games up on the second place Detroit Tigers.
However, catching output has been a huge hole for them all season. The Indians even had a "sacrificial" ceremony for the struggling Yan Gomes, which seems to have backfired since he left yesterday's game with a dislocated shoulder. Roberto Perez was recalled to take his place, and he's not a much better replacement. If the Indians really want a big push this year - they need a catcher.
The Angels have Carlos Perez finding his bat again in AAA and he's hitting .294 with 2 homeruns in his 4 games with the Bees. They also have Jett Bandy who is putting together a pretty decent season of his own. There is an organizational issue the Angels would first have to figure out since Perez is one of only two catchers currently in AAA and there are only 2 healthy catchers currently in AA. Guess you can never have enough catchers huh?
But, Soto is a valuable trade piece. The Indians have a pretty good farm system that is currently ranked 13th, and may jump into the single digits next year. Soto is only on contract until the end of the year so that limits his value some, but the Angels could definitely get something worthwhile for a productive catcher going to a team that is trying to get into the Fall Classic.
Cleveland has the worst OPS at the catcher spot of all 30 teams. And if Eppler wants to get really crazy, the Indians also have the worst OPS of all 30 teams at third base. If the Indians were willing to play ball, the Angels could get some pretty sweet pieces back for a Soto and Yunel Escobar package.
Billy Eppler, I hope you have already been on the phone with Mike Chernoff to see what you guys can work out. The time is now, and despite the weekend sweep of the White Sox, this Angels team is probably not going to the playoffs, and even if we had the chance, treading away Soto doesn't do much damage to those odds.