As of today, the Indians own the best record in all of baseball, have a 7 game lead in the AL central, and are highest in the league with +66 runs scored versus runs allowed.
One of the ways they got to this point was through trades. Trades of big name players, especially Cy Young award-winning pitchers (two years in a row!) is particularly painful to watch. You're giving up a proven and known quantity for "prospects." (Another baseball term that means "we think they're going to be pretty good.")
So looking at key trades over the last five years, we can see how the current team has emerged. Below is a partial list of trades. Who was traded, and who was received in return. I only included players who are on the current big league 25 man roster.
PLAYERS TRADED --- CURRENT MLB PLAYERS
Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley
Cliff Lee/Ben Francisco
Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson,
So in evaluating this chart, one of the questions we must ask ourselves is, knowing what we know now about these young players, would we make the trades in reverse today? In other words, would you exchange Justin Masterson for Victor Martinez today? Probably not.