GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The trade that sent Aaron Laffey to the Mariners in exchange for a minor-league second baseman was consummated mostly to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Chad Durbin.
""We had to make a difficult decision for our roster,'' General Manager Chris Antonetti said this morning. ""Ultimately, we were able to place Aaron on a team that had room on its 40-man, but primarily it was to clear a spot for Chad Durbin.''
Laffey was one of five nominal contenders to be the Indians' fifth starter, but his chances of beating out Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez, Anthony Reyes and David Huff were slim.
What did the Tribe receive in Matt Lawson?
""He's a versatile guy, a good defender, a blue collar worker and a grinder who plays the game the right way,'' Antonetti said. Maybe most important, Lawson does not have to be put on the 40-man roster.
He can play second base, shortstop and the outfield. He probably will start the season in Akron.