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MLB Trade Deadline Recap: Cleveland Indians

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A look at what the Indians accomplished at the trade deadline.

MLB: Cleveland Indians-Edwin Encarnacion Press Conference Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the non-waiver deadline has passed, we’re taking a look back at what each team was able to accomplish before 4 p.m. ET on July 31. Next up in our recap series is the Cleveland Indians.

Cleveland Indians (57-48), 1st in AL Central

ACQUIRED: RHP Joe Smith (from TOR)

TRADED: LHP Thomas Pannone (to TOR), INF Samad Taylor (to TOR)

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A year after making a big deadline move for Andrew Miller and coming close to adding two major pieces in Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran, the Indians appeared to flirt with another big-time addition this time around. Cleveland was linked to Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish, Zach Britton, Justin Wilson and Brad Hand in the hours and days leading up to the deadline but instead settled for a reunion with reliever Joe Smith.

Smith being the club’s only addition came as less of a surprise as many thought, as Indians insiders were saying throughout the month of July that the club’s deadline strategy was simply improving its depth. The move for Smith, a rental who cost only two low-ranked prospects in Thomas Pannone (now the Jays’ no. 21 prospect) and Samad Taylor.

Smith is a familiar commodity to the Indians, having spent six years there from 2009 to 2013, and lengthens a bullpen that includes Miller and closer Cody Allen. The price for rental relievers was relatively low due to the many options available to clubs, leading Cleveland to make a measured move in its quest to get back to the World Series.

Cleveland ultimately watched Gray go to the Yankees and Darvish to the Yankees just days before learning that starter Josh Tomlin will miss six weeks due to a hamstring injury. That means the club could very well look for some rotation help in a waiver-wire deal, potentially acquiring a rental starter who stayed put at the deadline like Jhoulys Chacin or Marco Estrada.

The Indians may also look to add some infield depth by the end of August, with Asdrubal Cabrera one name to keep an eye on.

For a complete list of our trade deadline recaps, click here.