The Cleveland Indians made a major trade, sending Trevor Bauer to the Cincinnati Reds in a three-team deal. They severely upgraded their outfield, making this a move for now.
Very rarely do teams fighting for a playoff spot trade a high-quality pitcher hours before the MLB trade deadline. However, if a team is going to do it, you’d want them to do it like the Cleveland Indians just did it.
The trade breaks down like this:
Indians get: Franmil Reyes, Yasiel Puig and Logan Allen
Reds get: Trevor Bauer
Padres get: Taylor Trammell
It’s huge all around. Of course, Bauer is the name we’ve been waiting to see move for weeks, and his final image as part of the Cleveland Indians roster can’t help. He’s going to the Cincinnati Reds, who are six games under .500 and close to out of the playoffs as August approaches. Meanwhile, in a situation where the Indians could have been forced to accept prospects for Bauer, a move that wouldn’t help them this season, they made additions that actually help their chances of making the playoffs now.
Puig is not the player he once was, but he quietly bounced back in Cincinnati this season. He has 22 home runs and 60 RBIs. He’s actually been quite consistent, and he’s on pace for about 33 home runs and 90 RBIs. That’s a very good season for a player who some gave up on.
Then, there’s the huge surprise that the San Diego Padres sent Franmil Reyes, who is 24 years old and having a great season, away. Now he’s on the Indians, and he could be a future piece that also helps them be contenders right now. He has 27 home runs this season while playing half of his games in Petco Park. Going to Cleveland will only help him.
Things seem to be in flux in the American League right now. The New York Yankees felt like the powerhouse all season, but they can’t pitch anymore. The Houston Astros have been absolutely on fire as of late, winning 10 of 12, but we’ve seen the teams that get hot at the wrong times. The Minnesota Twins looked like they could run away with the Central Division at one point, but now they only have a three-game cushion on the Indians.
The Indians used their best trade piece to make their weakest position stronger. Their infield is one of the best in the league, but now their outfield can match. This gives Terry Francona options with the lineup he didn’t have before.
Plus, they probably like what they’ve seen from Corey Kluber, who’s been out for months with a broken bone. He’s set to pitch a simulated game on Saturday, the next step to an eventual return. Plus, a blast from the past will also return this week: Danny Salazar will actually pitch in a Major League game on Thursday.
On top of those two returning, Carlos Carrasco hopes to return after his Leukemia diagnosis later this season. It’s not like the Indians were dead in the water without Bauer. Yet, they were able to take him and get not one, but two really good power hitters to bolster their worst position.
Not much is obvious in baseball nowadays, but one thing is for sure: the Indians found a way to sell Bauer for a major upgrade in the lineup. It’s something that will help them make a push to the playoffs, and possibly lead them to win the division outright.