Today the Cleveland Indians designated former Cardinals first round pick James Ramsey for assignment. Ramsey, 26, was dealt to the Indians in exchange for starting pitcher Justin Masterson back in July 2014 in a trade that caused a minor uproar. At the time, Ramsey was playing for Double-A Springfield and hitting .300/.389/.527 with 13 homers in 67 games for the Cardinals. While Masterson had a 5.51 ERA over 19 starts for the Indians.
I got thinking about how the Cardinals and Indians have been pretty regular trade partners since John Mozeliak became the team’s General Manager. Which is also interesting because the Indians’ Chris Antonetti was one of the finalists for the Cardinals’ GM job at the time.
But let’s take a look at the trades they’ve made.
2009: Chris Perez and Jess Todd for Mark DeRosa
There was some hope for this trade. However, Mark DeRosa hurt his wrist shortly after showing up in St. Louis and was never the player the Cardinals thought they were getting. Meanwhile Chris Perez was a two-time All Star closer for the Indians, but those teams finished 15 and 20 games out. Jess Todd never amounted to much in the Majors, posting a 7.62 ERA in 25 Major League games.
2010: Ryan Ludwick (to San Diego) for Jake Westbrook and Nick Greenwood
Jake Westbrook played a major role in the rotation for the Cardinals for a few seasons, but never really found the groove the franchise was hoping for. Nick Greenwood had his moments but was never a regular contributor to the big league club. Meanwhile Ryan Ludwick would leave the Cardinals and, aside from one season with the Reds, never posted an above average season again.
Cleveland did manage to pull Corey Kluber from San Diego in this deal, so I think they win this one.
2013: Marc Rzepczynski for Juan Herrera
Juan Herrera, a minor league shortstop who hangs his hat on defense, has never really been able to hit regularly in the minors. He hit .265 last season with no home runs at High-A Peoria. Marc Rzepczynski had one good season with the Indians before being flipped to the Padres last year for center fielder Abraham Almonte who played pretty well in the second half.
2014: James Ramsey for Justin Masterson
As the trade that prompted this discussion, it looks to have failed all around. Masterson struggled in St. Louis, but it was his help that may have turned Shelby Miller into the pitcher everyone thought he could be. Ramsey hit .243/.327/.382 for the Indians’ Triple-A team last season and failed to get an opportunity in the big leagues for an organization that needed outfield help last year.
2015: Rob Kaminsky for Brandon Moss
The jury is still out on this trade, but most of the early discussion of it centers mostly around Rob Kaminsky‘s prospect status. He was probably the Cardinals’ #3 pitching prospect at the time of the trade and was dominating in Palm Beach. He had a little trouble in two starts for the Indians’ High-A team.
Brandon Moss meanwhile was brought back on a pricey deal to be a first base option for the Cardinals this season. The organization struggled to get any production out of first base and what Moss provided late last year was a big improvement, even if it was just a 104 OPS+.
The Cardinals and the Padres have made their fair share of trades over the years as well, but they’ve had quite a bit of turnover in the front offices. Cleveland’s front office is still led by Antonetti while St. Louis’ is still led by Mozeliak.