Indians trade for second baseman

The Indians completed a trade with San Diego, acquiring second baseman Josh Barfield in exchange for infielder Kevin Kouzmanoff and reliever Andrew Brown. Barfield is 23 years old and had a solid rookie season in 2006 with the Padres:

Barfield, the son of former Blue Jays and Yankees outfielder and 1986 American League home run champ Jesse Barfield, made his Major League debut Opening Day in ’06. He went on to hit .280 with 13 homers and 58 RBIs for the NL West champs and finished second among big-league rookies with 21 stolen bases.

When initially informed of the trade, Barfield was shocked. But he soon warmed up to the idea of playing in Jacobs Field.

“I had no idea I was even being considered to be traded,” he said. “It took me by surprise. It’s starting to sink in now, and I’m realizing it’s going to be a better situation for me.”

Better in the sense that he won’t have to play home games in mammoth PETCO Park anymore. In ’06, he hit .241 at home and .319 on the road. His road average was the third-highest among NL batters.

The Tribe desperately needed a second baseman, and it looks like they got a good one in Barfield. He can hit and he adds speed to the lineup, and his defense is solid.

That said, they gave up a lot of talent to get him. Kouzmanoff looks like he can be a hitting machine, though he’s unproven at the big league level. Brown is a good young reliver. With Marte at third base, the Indians had a glut of young third baseman, so trading him to fill a need at second base probably makes sense. All three players have real upside potential, so it will take several years to see who got the best of this trade. Shapiro has a good track record evaluating young position players, so let’s hope he made the right call.

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