Indians Off-Season Notebook

By: T.J. Zuppe

Indians, Yankees Complete July Trade:

The Cleveland Indians announced on Thursday, that they have completed the July 31st trade that sent right-handed pitcher Kerry Wood to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later. That player ended up being plural, as they acquired right-handed pitcher Andrew Shive and infielder Matt Cusick from the Yankees, to finalize the deal.

Right-Hander Pitcher Andrew Shive

Shive, who turns 25 in November, spent his 2010 campaign between Charleston and Staten Island, finishing up at high Class-A by season’s end. He finished a combined 1-2, with an earned run average of 4.56. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Shive spent the 2010 seasons recovering from reconstructive right-elbow surgery, and struggled with his command, walking 20 batters in just 23.2 innings.

That is quite a contrast from his first-full season in 2008, where he struck out 50 and walked 17 in 46 innings at low Class-A Staten Island. He was a 35th round selection of the Yankees in the 2008 draft.

Cusick is a 24-year old infielder, who spent time at Class-AA and AAA in 2010, hitting a combined .243, with three home runs and 35 runs batted in. He played 52 games at third and 23 at second (all at Class-AA), combining to make six errors (five at third).

He was acquired by the Yankees from Houston in 2008 for relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins.

Neither is considered a “top prospect” by the Yankees’ organization.

Indians Announce Minor League Award Winners:

In addition to completing the trade with the Yankees, Cleveland announced a pair of minor-league award winners.

Infielder Jason Kipnis was the recipient of the Lou Boudreau award, given to the most outstanding minor league position player, and right-hander pitcher Alex White was given the Bob Feller award, a prize given to the minor league pitcher of the year in the Indians organization.

The 23-year old Kipnis spent time at Class-A, AA and AAA during the 2010 campaign, hitting a combined .307 between Kinston and Akron. Between the two, the infielder hit 32 doubles, eight triples, 16 home runs and 74 runs batted in, in 133 games.

He then joined Class-AAA Columbus for the playoffs, where he hit .455, with nine runs scored in five games.

Kipnis was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft.

Meanwhile, the first selection of that draft was the 22-year old White, who spent time between Class-A Kinston and Class-AA Akron, pitching to a combined record of 10-10, with an ERA of 2.45. He tossed 150.2 innings between both stops, striking out 117.

Following the season, Baseball America ranked White as the 8th best prospect in the Eastern League.

Both awards are a great honor in the organization. Past recent winners of both include Charles Nagy, Danny Graves, Fausto Carmona, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez.

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