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07/09/08 12:25 AM ET

Blake may be near end of Tribe tenure

Cleveland (37-52) at Detroit (45-44), Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET

DETROIT -- CC Sabathia is gone. Casey Blake could be next.

Blake, a free agent after this season, has seen his name dragged through the rumor mill in recent weeks -- although certainly not to the extent of Sabathia, who became perhaps the hottest topic in baseball until he was dealt to the Brewers on Monday. But plenty of people are talking about Blake's potential value as a utilityman for a contending club.

Apparently, the Indians aren't talking about that yet. At the press conference announcing the Sabathia swap, general manager Mark Shapiro said he had no active trade conversations going on.

But with more than three weeks remaining before the July 31st non-waiver trading deadline, and as the reeling, last-place Indians wrap up their two-game set with the Tigers on Wednesday, that can change at any point.

"It could happen," Blake said. "I'd be lying if I told you I don't think about it quite a bit. But I really don't have any control over that. If it happens, it happens. But I'm here right now to help our team win."

Blake has been a part of this franchise since the Indians made him a non-roster invitee to Spring Training camp in 2003. He made the roster out of camp, became the everyday third baseman and has been here ever since. He has done everything the Indians have asked of him -- be it moving to right field in 2005, moving to first base at the outset of '07, moving back to third early in '07 or providing leadership in the clubhouse.

That willingness -- and ability -- to play multiple spots could make Blake attractive to other clubs. Toss in the productive season he's compiling -- his .394 average with runners in scoring position ranks among the American League leaders -- and he become more valuable.

Of course, Blake may still be valuable to an Indians team that has no clear direction for third base next season. So whether or not Blake moves could be determined by what other clubs have to offer.

"I won't pay any attention to it," Blake said. "It will be a challenge. But the Indians are paying my salary. I'm going to come to the field and prepare myself, just like I always do, and do everything in my power to help the team win. I'll try to keep my focus on the here and now and not look ahead."

Pitching matchup
CLE: RHP Paul Byrd (3-10, 5.53 ERA)
Byrd has had a very inconsistent season, but one constant has been his penchant for dishing out the home run ball. He might fare a little better in the pitching-friendly confines of Comerica Park. He had a strong outing there on June 6, when he held the Tigers to a pair of runs on four hits over seven innings for his 100th career victory, but he nonetheless gave up a pair of homers in that start.

DET: RHP Eddie Bonine (2-1, 4.30 ERA)
Bonine was pushed back a day from his original rotation spot, which was slated to fall on Tuesday. That makes this his final scheduled outing before the All-Star break. Facing an Indians club that has struggled offensively this year could provide an opportunity for Bonine to get back into quality pitching, if he can attack the strike zone on the corners rather than the middle of the plate, which was his downfall his last time out at Minnesota.

The Indians' nine-game losing streak is their longest since losing nine straight in August of 2004. ... Grady Sizemore stole his 100th career base in the third inning Tuesday. He joins Joe Carter as the only players in Indians history to notch 100 homers and 100 stolen bases with the Tribe. Sizemore is 21-for-24 in stolen-base attempts this season. ... Jhonny Peralta is batting .338 with 10 doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs over his last 16 games.

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Up next
• Thursday: Indians (Aaron Laffey, 4-5, 3.49) vs. Rays (Andy Sonnanstine, 10-3, 4.31), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Indians (Cliff Lee, 11-2, 2.43) vs. Rays (James Shields, 7-5, 3.64), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Indians (TBD) vs. Rays (Matt Garza, 7-4, 3.51), 7:05 p.m. ET

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.