Belliard to the Cards, Luna returns

The wheeling and dealing for the Indians continued Sunday as the trading deadline approaches. GM Mark Shapiro sent free agent-to-be Ronnie Belliard to St. Louis for 26-year-old infielder Hector Luna.

The Cardinals needed a second-base solution for the stretch run, and the Indians needed middle-infield depth for the long haul.

Luna, if you remember, was originally drafted by the Indians back in 1999 and was lost twice because of the Rule V draft.

General manager Mark Shapiro had said Belliard was an option for his club at second base next season. But the 31-year-old Belliard is likely to command a multiyear deal in free agency, and the Indians aren’t expected to want to go that route with him.
The 26-year-old Luna, known for a solid bat but inconsistent glove, will join the Indians in Boston on Monday. With the Cards this season, he’s hit .291 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 75 games.

Belliard’s future with Cleveland was iffy since his contract was up at the end of the season. Ronnie has done some great things for this team over the past couple of years and has showed tremendous attitude and toughness. He would have been a quality asset to keep around another year or so because of what he brings to the team. Belliard displayed a consistent bat and solid defense. The trade saves the Indians money and they get younger in the process by acquiring Luna.

Luna doesn’t exactly blow me away. If he really is “inconsistent” with the glove, that’ll make our defense even worse. Our infield now has to be the worst in all of baseball and I don’t completely agree with the trade. It would have been nice to bring Belliard back but clearly the move was about the money for the Tribe.

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