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Don't overlook the guys in the deal not named Bauer

Don't overlook the guys in the deal not named Bauer
December 12, 2012
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I know everyone loves Trevor Bauer and it is obvious why, but do not sleep on the secondary pieces in this deal for the Indians.  They were able to get four players who should play for the team next season and could all make the opening day roster. There will be many articles written on Bauer, so let's look at the secondary guys, which help put this trade over the top.

Outfielder Drew Stubbs has regressed the last two years, but he should do better this year than he did in 2012. Going into last season his career BABIP was .333, a three year total and it shows a strong pattern. Last year his BABIP dropped to .290 and his on-base percentage and batting average both dropped over 30 points. He is never going to be a great player, but could steal 30 bases, hit 15 homers, and play excellent defense in the outfield. He is going to strike out a ton and at best his average will be close to .240, but he should be a solid third outfielder. He adds another right handed bat to this line up, something much needed the past two years. Plus he will be an Indians player for the next 3 years.

A week ago I was talking up right-handed reliever Bryan Shaw who had slid a bit, but is still a back end guy who has a really nice cutter.  He pitched well this year for Arizona, and is a guy who should be groomed for the back of the pen. He is ready to pitch, and along with Pestano, Allen, and Hagadone sets up this pen for years to come.  This sets up the Indians well for the potential losses of guys like Joe Smith and Chris Perez down the line.

Right-handed reliever Matt Albers was excellent last year, and has been solid for the past few years. There have been a lot of trades this year for teams seeking low cost pen arms. I mean, the Rockies gave up right-hander Alex White plus another player for right-hander Wilton Lopez.  A player like Albers who should make under $2 million could be flipped for the Tribe. Keep Philly in mind who had a trade with Houston for Lopez fall apart when they did not like the tests on Lopez's arm. If the Indians do not deal him, he opens the season with the Indians, and he pitches like he did last year, he will have value at the trade deadline.

The Indians made a deal that for once is clearly viewed as a win for the team, which is a first for the Tribe as it has been awhile since they made such a deal. While the majority of the talk will be on Bauer, don't forget about these secondary guys who the Indians acquired who will help make this deal a grand slam win.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffmlbdraft, or email him at

User Comments

December 12, 2012 - 2:37 PM EST
Tony, I love how you finally made the point to look at Stubbs as the replacement for left field. In an offseason fans have to look at the whole picture before training camp starts. Not look at singular moves. The trade wasn't choo straight up for Stubbs. when the Indians sign swisher or most likely Cody Ross then compare that player to Choo. This offseason is off to a great start. The Indians have traded jason donald an average utility infielder a couple ok relief pitchers and choo for a starting leftfielder, bluechip prospect pitcher, two solid relievers, and an interesting prospect in Yan Gomes, and Mike Aviles a middle infielder who can either start or be out utility infielder. Then signed Mark Reynolds an improvement over kotchman at firstbase. The Indians do need to add a starting pitcher, a rightfielder, and maybe a dh. Not bad when you look at what they needed before.
December 12, 2012 - 1:48 PM EST
Rick, I appreciate the comments. I think you speak for a lot of people in that the Indians got a shot of adrenaline with this deal. Casual Joe Fan probably knows nothing about Bauer and just knew the Indians traded a name player in Choo for prospects, but I think very quickly this is going to be a huge PR shot in the arm, particularly after they finish all their moves this offseason. Could this be the offseason where the Indians get themselves back on track and get going in very positive direction? I like what I have seen so far.....though still a long way to go.
December 12, 2012 - 1:32 PM EST
Really enjoying the various posts on this Tony.

Its easy to get lost in the stat weeds on trades like these, since thats such a guilty pleasure when you love the game. But another perspective is worth noting.

Who are you, where are you from, and where are you going....

I really love Stubbs in this vain. Big talent, high prospect, but failed to live up to the moment with a contending team. Can he regroup and succeed? Well he is comming to a team that is a perfect match to give him the best oppertunity to do so.

Lower expectations overall;desperate for decent production given the clowns we have lived with;and most important - under the wing of an experienced skipper who has helped ressurect similar fallen high-flyer prospects.

Before this trade I was hoping maybe Cinci would wiff and let Ludwick go and we could grab him. Now I believe, despite the K problem, we could see in Stubbs a long term solution.

I've watched Shaw here up close and he had an electric intro before he stumbled (a bit like Tony Sipp in yr 1 here). Again, and this applies to Bauer a bit to in his call up, Shaw's struggles were magnified by how and when they happened.

The D-backs were on the cusp of getting into a winnable race in Aug and Shaw went on a five game slide that was part of a overall bull pen breakdown that pretty much tanked any further chance. Not only was it HIS big leauge bout with failure - GIBSON NEVER REALLY TRUSTED THE GUY AFTERWARD.

Much was said in Phoenix about Bauer and the way he struggled as well - and - his dust ups with catcher Montero and skipper Gibson.

Again, Who are you, Where have you come from, Where are you going.

Gibson and crew had few expectations in '11 when they surprised and won the Division. Towers and crew looked brilliant comming in and revitalizing a wounded franchise via the prior experimentor Josh Burns. They caught lightening in the bottle and it was happy daze.

In '12 expectations were very high. They brought Bauer up to rally a flagging fan base when those expectations were not getting met. Talk about your tight A#$'d crucible. It wasn't the Yankees & a Drunk Billy Ball crazy house but it there was a lot of sidways finger pointing going on and to say the least the 'Gibson Way' wasn't working well meandering down around %500 land.

And guess what. Trever wasn't a meek little kitty about it. Fiesty, Fire in the belly not shy about saying (a bit unfiltered - yes) what was on HIS MIND. And that it is still HIS ARM. eCT..ECT..ECT.

I like Shaw and believe he has great potential. But I love Bauer and really believe he could be special for a long long time.

Oh, and bye the bye, visit the D-Back blogs; right now it's 99% calling for Towers Head. Fans live in mortal fear that he has the power to deal Upton. The shock is truely pathetic.

Bauer was touted as the next big thing - and now all of a sudden he is a quirky bird with exotic warm-up exercises?

They scouted this phenom like everyone else. They knew he was headstrong and devoted to his regime like a monk. They thru this talent under the bus because Gibson COULDN'T HANDLE THE EXPECTATIONS, OK?

Great work Tony. Thanks for the read.
December 12, 2012 - 12:35 PM EST
As I pointed out in the piece I wrote that I just posted, it is important to note that Stubbs should not be looked as a replacement for Choo. But for Damon/Duncan in left field. Brantley-Stubbs in LF-CF is a considerable upgrade from that mess they had in LF all year with Brantley in CF.
December 12, 2012 - 12:26 PM EST
I would say Albers=Sipp. They have identical career FIPs, though Sipp's got the better career ERA through his hard-to-quantify Sipp magic. Shaw had put up some good numbers so far in his career, and would seem to be the best reliever involved in the exchange. The part about this trade that blows my mind, is AZ basically traded Bauer, generally considered a top-5 national prospect, and Shaw, a decent reliever, for Didi Gregorius, who was more like the Reds 5th-best prospect. AZ's own prospect rankings clearly differ from the consensus, but you'd think they could've got more than Gregorius for Bauer and Shaw, or, alternatively, given up less for Gregorius by dealing with Cincy directly. I'm surprised they're not getting ripped for this move.
Bone Thugs
December 12, 2012 - 11:57 AM EST
Jeff, you normally do very good work but Matt Albers was "excellent" last year and "solid" before? Big exaggerations. Albers is replacement level.

He had a 1.50 WHIP from 2007 to 2011. His K/BB ratios are normally quite poor; he had a good 2012 but lets not get carried away. Albers isn't good.
December 12, 2012 - 11:16 AM EST
And we still have Lindor and Paulino !!!!
December 12, 2012 - 11:12 AM EST
i agree Jeff. The relievers give us depth,control, and the ability to use them in other trade possibilities if needed.
Stubbs is strong CF defense, and allows Brantley to move to LF where he will be better. As well, his K's, though high are not that much worse than Choo's numbers. Choo K'ed 150 times last yr. And Stubbs is a right handed hitter as well, which we need. A good deal all around, I think. Now, if we can sign Ross,Jackson and perhaps Jurjians(?) we are perhaps back in business. And we still have Cabrera and Perez as trade tools. Have to think this trade not only helps, but gives us some flexibility in the market.

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