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Indians trade Choo to Reds, acquire Bauer and three others

Indians trade Choo to Reds, acquire Bauer and three others
December 11, 2012
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The Cleveland Indians, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds have completed a massive nine player three-team trade tonight.

The Indians have received right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer, right-handed pitcher Matt Albers, and right-handed pitcher Bryan Shaw from the Diamondbacks and outfielder Drew Stubbs from the Reds. To complete the deal the Indians sent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, infielder Jason Donald and cash considerations to the Reds, and sent left-handed pitcher Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson to the Diamondbacks.

Bauer, 21, was the third overall selection by Arizona in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of UCLA after winning the 2011 Golden Spikes Award and National Player of the Year.  Named the 9th overall prospect in Minor League Baseball entering 2012, he spent most of the 2012 season between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno where he went a combined 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA in 22 starts (130.1IP, 107H, 35ER, 61BB, 157K, .223AVG) and averaged 10.8 strikeouts per 9.0IP.  He also became the first member of the 2011 draft to appear in the big leagues ahead of Indians right-hander Cody Allen, making four starts for the Diamondbacks in July. In his brief Minor League career he owns an ERA of 3.00 in 156.0 innings of work (134H, 52ER, 73BB, 200K, .229AVG) while fanning 11.5 batters per 9.0IP.

Stubbs, 28, has appeared in parts of four Major League seasons with the Reds since 2009 after being selected in the first round (8th overall) of the 2006 draft, batting .241 (431-1791) with 59HR, 178RBI, 110SB, 285 runs (.312OBP/.386SLG) in 486 career games. The right-handed hitter has also posted a career .276 (127-460) avg./.821 OPS vs. left-handed pitching. Stubbs recorded at least 30 stolen bases for the third consecutive season in 2012, becoming one of just six Major League players to do so over the span since 2010 (Bourn, Crisp, R. Davis, J. Reyes, B.J. Upton).  With 40 steals in 2011, Stubbs became the first Reds player to reach that threshold since Deion Sanders swiped 56 bags in 1997. Defensively, the University of Texas product has appeared exclusively in center field in 481 career games (24 outfield assists).

Albers, 29, split the 2012 season between the Boston Red Sox and Arizona, going a combined 3-1 with a 2.39ERA in 63 relief appearances (60.1IP, 46H, 16ER, 22BB, 44K, .215AVG).  Over Matt’s final 11 outings with the D-Backs in September he posted an ERA of 1.80 (10.0IP, 9H, 2R/ER, 9K). On the year with Boston and Arizona he limited left-handed batters to a .207 (17-82) average against.  The Houston, TX native was a 23rd round pick of the Astros in 2001 and debuted with his hometown team in 2006. He was traded to Baltimore prior to the 2008 season and after a successful stint in Boston in 2011-12 he was acquired by Arizona at the trading deadline for LHP Craig Breslow.

Shaw, 25, spent most of the 2012 season in the Arizona bullpen where he went 1-6 with 2 saves and a 3.49ERA in 64 relief appearances (59.1IP, 60H, 23ER, 4HR, 24BB, 41K, .273AVG). The Livermore, CA native also spent two weeks in Triple-A Reno in July and August, posting an ERA of 2.25 in 8 outings (8.0IP, 6H, 2R/ER, 10K, .207AVG). Shaw began his pro career in 2008 after the second round selection by Arizona out of Long Beach State (CA).  He debuted with the D-Backs in June 2011 and owns a two-year career Major League record of 2-6 with a 3.18ERA in 97 relief outings (87.2IP, 90H, 31ER, 65K).

With all the moves, the Indians roster stands at 40.

A complete breakdown of the deal and lots more analysis will post on the IPI over the next 24 hours.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

December 12, 2012 - 1:34 AM EST
Sipp pitched well, but was having trouble.
Choo was gone, soon; Donald had been replaced.
We gave up very, very little to get a lot.
Bauer may never work out; you can say the same about any pitcher, young or old that you acquire.
But we needed to try something in that rotation.
This is the best we could have done!!!!!!
Stubbs? I've seen him play for years.
He's one of the fastest players in baseball, an immediate upgrade in CF, and has underrated power.
He was asked to lead off, and that was not his best spot.
The other two pitchers?
They pitched well in tough stadiums.
Gives us depth & options.
This is one of the best trades in many years that any Indian FO has made.
Now, I can't wait until spring training!!!!!!!
December 12, 2012 - 1:28 AM EST
Living in Phoenix can add on why Kevin Towers and owner Ken Kendrick targeted Bauer for Trade: Mental breakdown.

Kid is a stud stuff wise. But Mentally? Get ready Cleveland. Quite the exotic bird. Whip Smart - KENNY RODGERS STUBBORN - Makes RAGE P. look like a wallflower when facing the press following a challenging outing. Get ready to rock in the funhouse!

From ownership right down to dour muff ol' school Gibby - Bauer wore thin in less than ONE MONTH IN THE BIGS!

Francona is just the zen master to turn this Diva in waiting into Magic on the mound.

As for Kevin Towers - and Ken Kendrick - last year they gave up on Jarrod Parker (for a so-so Cahill) for similar reasons - he didn't tow the company yard rules following Tommy J.

They have been dangling J-Upton for similar reasons; won't listen to the 4 potential Hall of Famers on the management team & 'attitude' this and 'attitude' that.


[ALTHOUGH Upton was 30% of why they won in '11]

Arizona is deep in the 'my way or the highway' mentality from ownership onto the field. And they just kicked a stud to our curb because they are obsessed with the 'process' and consider themselves so deep in strong arms.

Thank you Kevin Towers for your stubborn blindness. Thank you Ken Kendrick for demanding to play way over your depth with your expensive toys.

Have fun with DiDi because we are going to have a crazy high time with Trevor! Huge steal. Kudo's to all at Tribe Central.

A total steal.
December 11, 2012 - 11:16 PM EST
My kind of trade, glad to see the Indians do something to spark some fan interest and to set up a potentially brighter future.

Hopefully this sets up at least one more major deal
Pete Podnar
December 11, 2012 - 11:14 PM EST
Now it will interesting to see what they do with Cabrera. Does he go to St, Louis for Miller/Martinez? Does he go to the Braves? Seattle? OR does he stay?
Aussie Tribe
December 11, 2012 - 10:54 PM EST
Love this deal !1yr of choo for Stubbs 3yrs
Aviles now plays up more as utility as Acab still here so no need for Donald. Anderson 1 of 23 1b we have & Sipp who I couldn't stomach for Bauer!!! What's not to like except huge k totals coming ( tho choo k'd v lefties a ton )and the need for a lefty pen guy who we could get with all the right handers we have. Now go get swisher/Ross & E.Jackson! Is this really the same Indians FO ???
MT88 in WI
December 11, 2012 - 10:52 PM EST
I wasn't trying to suggest DiG was enough 4 Bauer and I don't think it was wise to deal DiG, Lars & TSipp 4 Bauer alone.

Considering the existing depth in the organization already, I would have been more interested in a starter or 2 that were further away from contributing. It would have opened 40 man roster space in the now and enabled the tribe to graduate some of the reliever logjam.

I reference the GSoto acquisition for Jhonny Slug/ Sluggo. If the guy pans out, great. If a future move to the pen is needed, do be it. But it builds depth in other areas, not swell the current ranks and lead to a devaluing of the guys you have (when you have a limited number of items, you will by nature need more to part with them then if you had a surplus).
December 11, 2012 - 10:48 PM EST
Wow. Can't believe the Indians are really being active. They received much more than I ever thought they could have for Choo. A great deal. The Indians have regained my interest and I can't wait to see what happens next - Swisher, Edwin Jackson, trading Cabrera or Chris Perez. Hail Francona - the messiah we have long been waiting for to show the Indians front office a different path.
December 11, 2012 - 10:45 PM EST
Would have to think Herrmann is in trouble, at least a little bit. Very replaceable, especially with two good pen arms coming to Cleveland, I'd say all first basemen are safe for now. On the flip side, wow, what, a great deal, and even if Bauer doesn't live up to the hype, we didn't give much to get him. One year of Choo in a losing season, an average lefty reliever, a subpar 1st baseman, and a utility infielder out of options. Just Wow!
December 11, 2012 - 10:41 PM EST
Choo was projected to make $7.9 M and Stubbs $2.9 M as per The Tribe is picking up $3.5 M of Choo's salary. The Tribe saved $5 M if you will but truly only netted $1.5 M in savings from the deal. Stubbs 3 more yrs of control.
Albers will make about $1 M this yr while Sipp would have made the same. Albers 1 yr of control.
Shaw will make league min. (480k) as would have Lars Anderson. Shaw has 5 yrs of control.
Bauer 6 yrs of control. Tremendous return by the Tribe.
December 11, 2012 - 10:37 PM EST
MT, those additional parts were what was needed to complete the trade. The DBacks did not simply want Gregorius for Bauer, they obviously like Anderson and Sipp more than the two pen guys they gave up. And the Indians simply just took back what additional pieces they could. Both relievers will help, and it gives them even more depth from which to trade this offseason to fill secondary needs.

As for the money in the deal, Stubbs is a first time arbitration guy and projected to get $2.9M, Albers is a third time arby eligible and projected to get $1.7M, and Shaw will get league min of $490K.
Michael T
December 11, 2012 - 10:32 PM EST
I love the trade Choo was a must with his impending free agency and difficulty in signing him with where this team stands now. We get a solid replacement this year for Choo and a future potential ace pitcher, plus more depth in the ever increasingly important bullpen. Nice job Antonnetti!

I am not totally thrilled with adding Drew Stubbs to Mark Reynolds in the lineup that will create a lot of K's, but the power potential is much needed with those guys. Stubbs had a bit of a down year with his BABIP% to create the low .277 OBP, but I'd expect a rebound a bit with his power rates staying pretty consistent. He is a solid replacement for Choo.

And Bauer, 16 major league innings does not make a projection. Maybe there is something to what scouts saw, but adding such a power arm adds some long overdue excitement to this team and something to look forward to.
December 11, 2012 - 10:26 PM EST
Instead of overpaying to convince a free agent with 1-2 yrs of control to come to CLE, they bought a higher ceiling prospect for $3.5M cash from someone else's draft, with several yrs of control. The cash is overlooked, but I like this. For reference, what are some of the other salaries & yrs on Stubbs, Shaw, Albers, etc?
December 11, 2012 - 10:25 PM EST
I also forgot the upgrade of Mark Reynolds from the soft hitting Casey kotchman. Glad to see with Stubbs, Reynolds, and aviles they have upgraded with right handed hitting finally.
December 11, 2012 - 10:21 PM EST
I love this trade. We have lost esmil rogers, choo, sipp and Donald and in return we have gained albers and Shaw for the bullpen, Trevor Bauer a top level prospect starting pitcher, Mike aviles an upgrade over Jason Donald as a utility infielder, Yan Gomes an interesting prospect, and Drew Stubbs a fast top of the order outfielder. The front office is off to a great start. I'm hoping they keep Cabrera and make a run at swisher/ross and then bring in a starting pitcher. Like a John lannan, jair jurrgens, or Edwin Jackson type. Also I'm guessing with Sipp and R.Perez gone the Indians are planning on using either Scott Barnes or Nick Hagadone as their left specialist out of the bullpen. Should be an interesting rest of the offseason.
MT88 in WI
December 11, 2012 - 10:18 PM EST
I think they can still outright Juan Diaz and have no risk of losing him..... Just saying.
December 11, 2012 - 10:06 PM EST concern about Bauer's arm. They were annoyed that he did not listen to coaches very well, and his command issues scare them.
December 11, 2012 - 10:04 PM EST
I love the trade but the roster still has loads of work to do. Still need to cut 1 more. 40 man is at 40 without Reynolds, right? And now no glut of 1B to release. With all the RH pen arms my guess is the Indians try to put Wood through waivers & hope they have better luck than the Royals. Who else is on the chopping block?
December 11, 2012 - 10:02 PM EST
Hard not to like this. I like it even if you substitute Steven Wright for Lars Anderson. I does seem suspicious on Arizona's part. I guess as a Cleveland fan I am waiting for the other shoe to drop...
MT88 in WI
December 11, 2012 - 9:58 PM EST
I'm confused with parts of this deal, namely Stubbs and the 2 RHRPs. WHY those parts???

RHRP is an area of depth with this team so getting more seems to be overkill. Stubbs I can see as insurance if none of Swisher, Ross, etc can be signed. In that case are they throwing in the towel on TNeal, TFeroff and others??

With the release of Raffy left and dealing Sipp, I have to think that Huff & or Scott Barnes are bullpen bound to join Hagadone from that side in the pen.

One last thing - if Sipp is getting expensive, then Joe Smith is in the same boat,
December 11, 2012 - 9:49 PM EST
The Diamondbacks supposedly LOVE Gregorius. They view him as an Alcides Escobar type and he is in fact a high level prospect. I agree though, not my cup of tea and I really didn't want the Indians to acquire him, so thankfully that did not happen. They really wanted a shortstop they could control for a long time, and their infatuation with Gregorius (like the Indians infatuation with getting Bauer), is what led to this deal.
December 11, 2012 - 9:45 PM EST
Such a strange deal, especially from the perspective of AZ and Cincy. I can get behind this as a Cleveland fan. Seems like a whole lot for AZ to give up. They must have concerns about Bauer's arm. Bauer was rated as a top-10 prospect, while Gregorius was not highly rated at all. Very odd to swap Bauer and a decent pitcher in Shaw for a marginal SS prospect, and two practical non-entities. They willfully downgraded from Bauer to Gregorius and Shaw to Sipp? They either think they know something about Bauer, or Gregorius, or both, that the rest of the baseball world doesn't.

With the acquisition of the right-handed bullpen arms, does that mean Chris Perez is soon on the move?
December 11, 2012 - 9:45 PM EST
Love this trade for the Indians. Bauer is cost controlled long term. They get 2 solid bullpen arms. Also pick up a speedster in Stubbs. More of a 3/4 OF but a nice piece to a deal where you are giving up one year of Choo (who they would not have resigned) and not much else. As much as we love to beat up Shapiro and Antonetti I have to praise them for this deal. Of the 3 teams involved the Indians come out the big winners here.

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