After a few weeks of flirting with various teams and trade rumors about any number of players, the Indians completed a three-team, nine-player trade with the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks.
We sent right fielder Shin-Soo Choo and infielder Jason Donald (as well as some cash) to Cincinnati and LHP Tony Sipp, newly acquired infielder Lars Anderson and “cash considerations” to Arizona. The Reds also sent infielder Didi Gregorius to the Diamondbacks. What did we get for all of this? From the Diamondbacks, we received RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Matt Albers, and RHP Bryan Shaw and outfielder Drew Stubbs from the Reds.
Bauer was the 2011 Golden Spikes Award winner and National Player of the Year and was picked third overall by Arizona in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Baseball America named him the 9th overall prospect in minor league ball going into the 2012 season. He only pitched 156 innings in the minors (for a 3.00 ERA and 1.327 WHIP). He started four games for Arizona last year for a total of 16.1 innings (6.06 ERA and 1.653 WHIP). His funky mechanics are pretty well-known, but if you want to see them in slow motion, he’s posted some videos of himself on YouTube. Say what you might about how this might reflect on the size of his ego, but I don’t see much downside to this acquisition.
Stubbs was drafted by the Reds in the 1st round (8th pick) of the 2006 amateur draft and has spent parts of four seasons in the majors. His major league career numbers are .241 AVG/.312 OBP/.386 SLG. He’s quick, with 30 stolen bases and 75 runs scored in 2012 (but only 40 RBI). He’s one of six major league players to steal at least 30 bases in three consecutive seasons. He also strikes out a lot. In 2010, he was 6th in the NL in strikeouts, 1st in 2011, and 5th in 2012. He’s actually one of only two MLB players to record more than 200 strikeouts in a season (the other is recent acquisition Mark Reynolds). I want to like Drew Stubbs, but I’m ambivalent right now.
Albers is kind of a journeyman pitcher. He was drafted by the Astros in the 23rd round of the 2001 amateur draft and spent two seasons as an Astro, three as an Oriole, one and a half as a Red Sox, and became a Diamondback at the trade deadline last season. Albers has a career 4.68 ERA and 1.481 WHIP. He had a great September for Arizona,with a 1.80 ERA in his final 11 appearances (10 innings pitched). Albers is 29, so he should have a few good seasons left. I’m slightly hopeful that he can be a solid reliever.
Shaw is 25 and was drafted by Arizona in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft. He moved up through their ranks pretty quickly, with his major league debut coming June 10, 2011. He spent most of the 2012 season in the Diamondbacks bullpen, but did spend two weeks at AAA Reno. Career, he has a 3.18 ERA and 1.392 WHIP. He could be a reliable addition to the bullpen.
Well, we needed pitching, we got pitching. Well done, gentlemen. We still haven’t landed the big bat we need in the lineup. I don’t know if the front office has any tricks up its sleeve in that regard. If we don’t trade for an impact hitter, I’ll go on record as saying I hope Russ Canzler gets a decent shot as DH or in left field.