If you somehow missed the news, the Cincinnati Reds acquired right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer from the Cleveland Indians last night. They dealt away Yasiel Puig, and prospects Taylor Trammell and Scott Moss. The San Diego Padres were also involved in the deal, moving Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen, and Victor Nova on their end to acquire Trammell in the deal.
With a deal like this, there are going to be some opinions. Trevor Bauer has been an inconsistent pitcher over the course of his career. In 2018 he was a Cy Young contender. In 2019 he’s been a borderline All-Star caliber pitcher. Prior to 2018 he had a career much like that of Homer Bailey – dazzling at times, but mostly average. Yasiel Puig almost always draws opinions, and those opinions are all over the place. And then there’s a guy like Franmil Reyes who has 27 home runs despite playing his home games in Petco. Oh yeah, and the prospects. All of the prospects.
Perhaps some of us here in Redleg Nation are a bit too attached to Yasiel Puig or Taylor Trammell to be unbiased. We don’t really care – we plan to have our writers share their initial reactions to the deal later today. But we also want to provide reactions from those outside of Redleg Nation and in the national media, and how they feel about the deal.
Dan Szymborski of Fangraphs
He broke down the trade with a whole lot of words, plenty of stats, and more over at Fangraphs. You really should go give the whole thing a read. But here’s a part of what he had to say about the deal from the Reds perspective:
getting Bauer (who is signed for next season) in a trade for Puig (who is not) makes the Reds a better team in 2020 than they would likely be otherwise. Unlike many swaps of this kind, the Reds even make themselves a little better in the short-term. Given the team’s short- and mid-term goals, helping 2020 without sacrificing their slim shot in 2019 is a perfect move.
Eno Sarris of The Athletic
The Athletic got the opinions of many of their writers for this one. The article has stuff from several national writers, as well as the guys who cover the Reds, Indians, and Padres. For this one we’re going to look at some of the things that Eno Sarris had to say about Trevor Bauer and the Reds in what was a much more detailed breakdown by him, as well as multiple other contributors at The Athletic.
Trevor Bauer is really good at pitching, y’all.
His new team only has a four percent chance of making the playoffs according to FanGraphs, though, so the trade seems like a strange one.
And it looked likely that Bauer wouldn’t be available by the offseason, so they pounced.
Kyle Glaser and JJ Cooper of Baseball America
This is more of a tweet/quote tweet kind of thing here.
Bauer – Two everyday middle-of-the-order OFs and a Top 100 pitching prospect
Stroman – Two interesting but non-Top 100 pitching prospects https://t.co/1gPoTSibVb
— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) July 31, 2019
This was the original quote tweet from Glaser, responding to a tweet from Robert Murray, who is the Brewers beat writer at The Athletic. Clearly the executive he spoke to felt that the Indians did a good job on the deal. But Glaser expands on that, showing just how different the two returns were. Then JJ Cooper, also of Baseball America, chimed in with his thoughts on what Glaser had to say:
And Marcus Stroman has been a better pitcher in 3 of the past 4 years. Both under team control for the same amount of time….. https://t.co/iyFWmow0qU
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) July 31, 2019
Jayson Stark of The Athletic
Hall of Famer Jayson Stark didn’t exactly chime in here, but did share what a National League executive shared with him on the deal.
An NL exec on the #Indians’ return for Bauer: “They killed this trade.”
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 31, 2019
Keith Law of ESPN
You will need an ESPN+ account to read the entire breakdown of the deal from Keith Law on this one. But it’s a good read if you do have access to the article. Here’s a small part of what he had to say about the Reds side of the deal:
The Cincinnati Reds’ side makes the least sense to me, as they traded away their top prospect plus two months of Yasiel Puig for a year plus two months of a good-not-great starting pitcher. Trevor Bauer the pitcher has had one outstanding year, 2018, and has otherwise been a little bit above average, adding value as much for his ability to take the ball every fifth day as for his performance.
Jim Bowden of
LeatherPants.com The Athletic
We’ll wrap this up with a tweet on the trade from everyone’s favorite former Cincinnati Reds General Manager, Jim Bowden
In 7-Player, 3 Team Blockbuster Trade
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) July 31, 2019