So to be clear the Indians were done for in 2009 so some sort of a fire sale made sense.
Mark DeRosa was an obvious move since the Indians didn't need to keep paying him his $5.5M when they were clearly out of the race. Plus Andy Marte was looking pretty good in AAA and it was about time to give him another shot.
Victor Martinez doesn't make sense to me. Not because they don't have backup options for the catcher role but because they got nothing in return. Yes they have Carlos Santana and they had just acquired Lou Marson from Philly. Santana doesn't project to remain at catcher and Marson, well he has a long way to go before his bat and glove a fully major league ready. De-facto Shoppach takes the helm which after his breakout year in 2008 I felt he deserved a better shake anyways.
This still doesn't negate the fact they got nothing in return. Justin Masterson is nothing more than a 5th man in the rotation or most likely a middle relief expert. Nick Hagadone is interesting but he's still pitching low A ball and a should be a while before he sees big league pitching.
Cliff Lee was a case of selling low in a market where you should have been able to sell high. The Indians rushed to sell to Philly before the Phillies bought Halladay from the Jays. The loot in return for a Cy Young pitcher was a so-so pitcher in Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco who's stock has plummeted with a poor season this year, and Lou Marson an average catcher.
Cleveland had the offensive ability to be competitive in 2010 but they lacked the pitching. Neither of these deals solve this problem for 2010 and actually make their rotation even worse.
If I were an Indian fan I would hold off on buying season tickets unless they sign some superstar pitchers in the off-season.
3-9 6.08 ERA Fausto Carmona, 4-7 4.40 ERA Justin Masterson, 9-7 6.23 ERA David Huff, 7-5 3.79 ERA Aaron Laffey, and 0-1 12.38 ERA Carlos Carrasco are not the optimal starting rotation.
At least Indian fans can be happy the team finally has some room for Laporta!