During the most active offseason in the history of the Cleveland Indians , general manager Chris Antonetti was able to acquire the elite pitching prospect Trevor Bauer. After the signings of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Mark Reynolds and even Brett Meyers the Indians deal for Bauer began to take a back seat. I doubt this backseat will last long, however, as Bauer has the type of talent that can headline a rotation for a decade.
The Indians were able to acquire Bauer for the inexpensive price of the last year of Shin Soo Choo’s contract as well as a few other replaceable types in Jason Donald, Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson. The reason the Arizona Diamondbacks gave up Bauer for a song had to do with large differences in philosophy. The greatest disagreements appear to have occurred between Bauer and his former manager Kirk Gibson who is a member of the old school of baseball. It seems as if Gibson was uncomfortable with many of Bauer’s new school approaches. This certainly will be remedied easily in Cleveland as the Indians front office as well as manager Terry Francona have become known for their acceptance of the new era approach to analytics.
As to the assignment to triple-A there is no doubt that Bauer has some work to do before he is ready to compete at the big league level. The walk rate is still a work in progress as Bauer surrendered four in 14 innings and showed some legitimate control problems inside and outside the zone. One thing is clear if Bauer continues to progress in terms of his control he will not be in triple-A long. The Indians have a boom or bust rotation with one or two guys sure to bust. When one of Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir or Zach McCallister struggles Bauer will be just a quick phone call away.
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