Examining the Trevor Bauer Deal One Year Later

Trevor Bauer delivers a pitch for the Indians

The Cleveland Indians traded Trevor Bauer to the in-state rival Cincinnati Reds in a three-team deal that also included the San Diego Padres on July 31, 2019. In return, the Indians received OF Yasiel Puig and LHP Scott Moss from the Reds as well as OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen and INF Victor Nova from the Padres. Cincinnati sent top-prospect OF Taylor Trammell to San Diego.

Bauer was not himself following the trade. He went 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA in ten starts for the Reds. This season, he is slotted as Cincinnati’s third starter in the rotation behind Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo. In his season debut on July 26 vs Detroit, the right-hander got a no-decision after pitching 6 and 1/3 innings, surrendering just two hits, one walk and one run while striking out 13 Tigers. Conversely, Puig and Reyes provided the Indians with the offensive jolt they made the deal for. Puig hit .297 with a pair of home runs and 23 RBI in 49 games. Reyes struggled in Cleveland at first but finished with ten home runs and 35 RBI in 51 games. The Indians went 30-25 following the trade and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The Indians chose not to re-sign Puig this offseason. He remains unsigned after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. Reyes has started the 2020 season 3-18 with one RBI. Reyes is only 25 years of age and has the potential to be a premier home run hitter and a fixture in the middle of the lineup. He isn’t a free agent until 2025.

Logan Allen and Scott Moss are both a part of the Indians’ 60-man player pool for this season and could very well pitch Major League innings by season’s end. Allen pitched in one game for the Tribe in 2019. He pitched the final 2 and 1/3 innings giving up three hits, no runs and struck out three. Allen could prove to be an important piece of the Tribe’s 2020 puzzle due to his experience as a starter and reliever. In 2019, Moss made six starts across Double-A and Triple-A in the Cleveland organization. He finished with a 4-1 record, 1.42 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 28 and 2/3 innings pitched.

Ultimately, all three teams accomplished what they set out to do with this trade. The Indians added pop to the lineup and depth to the pitching staff. The Reds added a stud to what is now an elite rotation and the Padres bolstered an already deep farm system. Bauer being dealt helped create room for Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac to enter the rotation in 2019. With those two at the backend of the rotation and a front three of Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco, the Indians rotation is among the elite rotations in the game.

The Indians are no stranger to midseason deals. The franchise dealt the reigning AL CY Young Award winners in back-to-back seasons in 2008 and 2009. Cleveland traded C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee in 2008 and Cliff Lee to Philadelphia in 2009. On paper, both of the returns were sufficient. However, only two players out of a combined eight had sustained success in the Majors. Those two players are Michael Brantley and Carlos Carrasco. Meanwhile, Sabathia carried Milwaukee to the postseason and Lee helped Philadelphia win its second straight NL Pennant. Time will tell the full impact this trade has on the three teams involved. Photo via Getty Images

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