Yasiel Puig Headlines Acquisitions in Three Team Trade

I hope everyone’s loins are girded because things just got real. In what can only be described as a shocking turn of events, the Indians traded away Trevor Bauer on Tuesday night in a three team deal involving seven players. The centerpiece of the move is undoubtedly Yasiel Puig, who heads to Cleveland as a significant upgrade in the power department.

All in all, the deal, which involved the Reds, Indians, and Padres, breaks down as follows:

Cincinnati gets: RHP Trevor Bauer
Cleveland gets: OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen, OF Yasiel Puig, 3B Victor Nova, LHP Scott Moss
San Diego gets: OF Taylor Trammell

For the Indians, the motivation behind the deal is simple. Significantly improve the lineup for a playoff push this year and build for the future while ridding yourself of a high profile starting pitcher destined for free agency who is as temperamental as he is talented. When you get down to it, this trade checks all the boxes for your classic Cleveland Indians trade deadline heist.

So what exactly did the Indians get? Well, here are the details.

Yasiel Puig

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
201322LADNL1044323826612221219421183697.319.391.534.925159
201423LADNL14864055892165379166911767124.296.382.480.863145
201524LADNL7931128230721231138332666.255.322.436.758110
201625LADNL10436833445881421145522474.263.323.416.74098
201726LADNL15257049972131242287415664100.263.346.487.833119
201827LADNL1254444056010821123631553687.267.327.494.820121
201928CINNL99400369519415122601352387.255.305.480.78598
7 Yr7 Yr7 Yr7 Yr81131652829416780144201303917336276635.276.347.479.825123
162 162 162 162 16263256583156294267815755127.276.347.479.825123
LAD LAD LAD LAD 71227652460365686129191083316031253548.279.353.478.831127
CIN CIN CIN CIN 99400369519415122601352387.255.305.480.78598
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/31/2019.

The Indians exchanged one temperamental star with a flair for the dramatic for another. Puig comes to the Indians on the same night he was involved in a bench clearing brawl in Cincinnati. Not only that, but his diva-like tendencies from his time spent with the Dodgers are well documented.

However, Yasiel Puig represents a significant upgrade to a lineup that, at times, lacks in both the power and run production departments. While Puig is nowhere near the player he was during his first few seasons in Los Angeles, he is still fully capable of putting up outlandish numbers in terms of both home runs and RBI. He will instantly pencil in as the every day cleanup hitter and likely assume a share of the DH and left field/right field duties.

As a soon to be free agent following the 2019 season, Puig is a rental and nothing more. So don’t get too attached.

Puig
Puig

Franmil Reyes

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
201822SDPNL872852613673901631002480.280.340.498.838131
201923SDPNL983493164280802746002993.253.312.535.847121
2 Yr2 Yr2 Yr2 Yr1856345777815317043770053173.265.325.518.843125
162 162 162 162 1625555056813415038670046151.265.325.518.843125
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/31/2019.

While Yasiel Puig will grab all the headlines, it is Franmil Reyes who may prove to be the real steal of the deal. Reyes is a masher. A true right handed power bat. And at just 23 years of age and under team control until 2025, he could prove to be the Tribe’s cleanup hitter for the foreseeable future.

So far in 2019, all Reyes did for the Padres was swat 27 homers from the right hand side of the plate in one the most pitcher friendly ballparks in all of baseball. Admittedly his plate discipline in 2019 and on base skills leave a bit to be desired, there is room for growth here. One can’t help but think the tutelage of Carlos Santana could prove useful. Like Puig, Reyes will probably see some time in the heart of the lineup while manning the DH spot with a smattering of starts in the outfield from time to time.

The Rest of the Deal

The remainder of the deal will not help the Indians in 2019. Instead, the three players acquired could serve as building blocks for the future.

Victor Nova is essentially a lottery ticket. At only 19 years of age, he is far from being on anyone’s radar in terms of his future. He has performed well in rookie ball, but the ceiling doesn’t appear to be too high for him. Per two scouts, “Left handed hitting bat-first utility guy who moves around the field but not up the middle. Flier with some feel to hit, pads the deal.”

Logan Allen is a left handed pitcher and was the #7 overall prospect for the Padres. He made his big league debut in 2019, but struggled mightily in eight appearances, four of which were starts. He’s a big lefty who showed huge potential at AA but hasn’t realized it yet. He has solid strikeout potential and can can be good if he figures out how to keep the ball in the yard.

Scott Moss is a left handed pitcher and was the Reds #12 prospect. Scott currently projects to be either a bottom of the rotation starter or quality reliever depending on whether or not he can further develop pitches to go along with his already solid fastball and slider. Knowing the Indians, they’ll transform him into a Cy Young candidate two years from now.

For Those Keeping Score…

With time still left on the clock for the 2019 trade deadline the Indians have already made significant strides in improving their team not just in 2019, but also beyond. As of this writing, they have brought in a total of seven players with all but one (Puig) under team control for the next three to five seasons. And it only cost them a grand total of two players… TWO!

How does the Indians’ front office continue to do this? How do they continue to pull the rug out from under every team they deal with? And that’s not just me saying it. That’s everyone within the Major League Baseball community tonight. No one can understand how the Indians were albe to bring in this much talent for Trevor Bauer and only Trevor Bauer. Not only that, but their return makes the Blue Jays’ return for Marcus Stroman appear that much more pathetic.

As for the rotation moving forward, This is officially the Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, and Zach Plesac show. The Indians feel more than comfortable with these three as the core of the staff along with Corey Kluber, who is set to return soon from his broken arm. Adam Plutko will also prove valuable and there is still the potential return of Carlos Carrasco. Not only that, but this also clears the way to provide Danny Salazar with his opportunity to regain a spot in the rotation.

Simply put, there are more than enough quality arms, but there weren’t enough spots. Moving Bauer now helps address that concern without really losing much, if anything at all from a production stand point.

Final Thoughts on Trevor Bauer

The Trevor Bauer era for the Cleveland Indians will be memorable. From the blockbuster trade that brought him to Cleveland, to the insane warm-up regimen, use of applied physics, and just overall eccentricities, Bauer is not a player any of us will soon forget. You can never argue that Bauer didn’t care enough. If anything, sometimes he may have cared too much.

We also watched Trevor Bauer grow from an awkward recluse, to a somewhat less awkward but still not great teammate, and ultimately into one of the key figures that helped the clubhouse gel over the course of multiple seasons. Who could forget the mini balls in 2017 or the King of the Hill award this season? Yes, the flaws or rough spots are still there and present themselves from time to time, see this past Sunday, but Bauer really grew as a person while with the Indians.

On a personal level, I’ll never speak a bad word about Trevor Bauer.

Back in 2013, back when Kyle and I were still with the Fansided site “Wahoo’s on First,” one of the staff writers reached out to Bauer and asked him about possibly writing an intro song for our podcast. Thirty seconds, come up with a catchy hook, and use the site name. We didn’t ask for much and to our surprise, he said yes. Two weeks later he delivered a full song over a minute and a half long incorporating player names, creative puns, and our site name scattered throughout the chorus.

The song was a hit. It went viral and our site was everywhere. Words cannot express how cool we all thought that was and just how grateful we were to him for it. He didn’t have to do it. He could have ignored us. He could have done the absolute bare minimum. But he didn’t. In true Trevor Bauer form he put 110% into it.

A lot of people I’m sure have similar stories. Trevor Bauer is a complicated person, but for every on field meltdown or Twitter feud there’s a donation to a charity, or helping get someone tickets to a game, answering pitching related questions in detail on Twitter, or playing chess on a Saturday morning with grade school kids. Trevor Bauer is a good guy deep down and I hope wherever he ultimately ends up people are willing and able to embrace him, good and bad.