The Indians, Diamondbacks, and Cincinnati Reds agreed to a three-team swap on Tuesday. In the deal, the Indians will receive Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers, and Bryan Shaw, the Diamondbacks get first baseman Lars Anderson, reliever Tony Sipp, and shortstop Didi Gregorius, while the Reds receive outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and infielder Jason Donald.
Each team filled a need, or at least got what they were looking for, with this deal, so you could probably make the argument that each team won. But breaking it down, the Indians are the winners here, and it’s not even close.
First, the less obvious names in the deal: Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw. Albers had a fine season in relief for the Diamondbacks, after he was acquired from the Boston Red Sox. Between the two, he posted a 2.39 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and 22 walks in just over 60 innings of work. Expect those strikeout numbers to drop a bit, as they were inflated by the fact that it was over eight in Arizona.
Bryan Shaw also had himself a nice year out of the Arizona ‘pen, in his first full season at the big league level. He posted a 3.49 ERA and a decent ground ball rate. Both he and Albers should prove to be very nice additions for the Cleveland relief corps.
Stubbs had an awful year for the Reds last year, but brings some nice tools to the table. He’ll add more than a few swipes to the mix, on the occasion that he actually gets on base, and a solid glove. He’s a nice change-of-scenery candidate to add to the outfield for the Tribe.
But obviously the real prize in this deal is Trevor Bauer, who the Diamondback soured on barely a year after drafting him.
There’s no way around the fact that Bauer is something of a headcase. His pregame ritual is odd and he’s sort of a strange bird overall. But there’s no denying the talent he brings to the table, and the fact that he has the potential to be a future ace. Regardless of the mental makeup, it’s going to be a move that will be questioned by many in Arizona. And welcomed by many in Cleveland.
Bauer claims to have eight different pitches that he utilizes, and agreeing with his catcher on when to use them was one of his issues in the desert. He has a fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 90’s, a fantastic curveball, and a solid change & slider. He has outstanding stuff, it’s just a matter of getting his command, which should come eventually. Hopefully.
The city of Cleveland ends up as the punchline for the majority of the jokes in the sporting world. But with their acquisition of Bauer, as well as three other very solid players, they actually come out on top of this deal. It could be an exciting 2013 season for this club.