Tribe gets Michaels from Phils
Cleveland sent pitcher Arthur Rhodes to Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians reached agreement Friday on a Jason Michaels-for-Arthur Rhodes trade, a deal that could trigger a bigger swap involving the Boston Red Sox.
Rhodes was in Philadelphia taking a physical, which he passed and the two clubs finalized the deal.
Now that the trade is completed, the Indians could turn around and send center fielder Coco Crisp to the Red Sox to fill the gap left when free agent Johnny Damon left for the New York Yankees.
Boston had been trying to send third base prospect Andy Marte and reliever Guillermo Mota to Cleveland.
Trade had hitch earlier
Trades involving the three teams had a hitch earlier this week when the Indians got an unfavorable medical report on Mota. The righty reliever spent about a month on the disabled list with Florida last season because of elbow inflammation.
Rhodes went 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 47 games last year in his only season with the Indians. But the 36-year-old lefty reliever missed most of the final two months for family reasons.
Michaels hit .304 with four homers and 31 RBIs for the Phillies. He platooned in center field with Kenny Lofton.
Michaels, 29, recently was put on six months' probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service following a fight with a Philadelphia police officer last year.
Crisp was a sparkplug and fan favorite for Cleveland, hitting .300 with 16 home runs, 69 RBIs, and stealing 15 bases.
Mota went 2-2 with a 4.70 ERA and two saves in 56 games last season with the Florida Marlins.
There was a chance Boston catching prospect Kelly Shoppach and Cleveland reliever David Riske, as well as backup catcher Josh Bard could be involved in a larger deal.
Shapiro declined comment
Indians general manager Mark Shapiro declined comment on any deals. He did, however, boost Crisp's stock as an up-and-coming player.
"He's just entering his prime right now and he definitely has upside beyond what he has done thus far," Shapiro said Friday. "He can become a better, more effective basestealer. The question and the unknown is always going be how much more power he's got.
"But he's an energy player and he can impact the game on both sides of the ball," he said.
The Indians won 93 games last season, narrowly missing the playoffs after going 1-6 in the final week. A potential deal involving the 26-year-old Crisp has not been well received by some Indians fans, who are afraid of Shapiro messing with Cleveland's chemistry now that the club is back among the AL's elite.
"We're not looking to be judged along the way," Shapiro said. "We have certainly dealt with criticism, quite a bit of it, an extensive amount of it over the last three years, and we're making decisions that are in the best interest of the fans. We need to be right in the end, not along the way, that's the reality.
"Hopefully, we have some trust with our fan base, that they know we'll make good decisions. But it has been a short period of time, and we have to do more. But I hope that over time our track record will build trust."
With Rhodes, the Phillies would be able to move Ryan Madson to the starting rotation.
Madson, 25, had been a setup man the past two seasons. Madson, 6-5 with a 4.14 ERA in 78 games, began the season as the setup man for Billy Wagner, but gave up that role when the Phillies acquired Ugueth Urbina in June.
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