Bauer trade boosts Tribe for the present and future - Opinion by Tim Shirer
The Dolan family took a lot flak from the unknowledgeable Cleveland fan base and local media that cares more about training camp in shorts than they do about baseball over the winter when the team made some trades and shed some salary. Tuesday night the club made a trade that could increase the Cleveland Indians chances of not only contending for that seemingly unreachable World Series title this season, but acquired pieces that could keep the imaginary “window” open for several more years and frees up more salary to possibly sign superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor.

While I don’t think the overblown situation with Trevor Bauer throwing the ball into the stand in Kansas City on Sunday mattered one bit in this trade. Trades do not happen overnight. They are discussed for days, maybe weeks before they take place, players are scouted and every circumstance of how the trade will affect the teams is analyzed before a trade is made. I think this trade had been in the works for a while.

The Indians received five players in the trade. The three key players in the deal are Outfielder Yasiel Puig, Outfielder Franmil Reyes and Left-handed starting pitcher Logan Allen.

Puig will be a free agent after the season, he will not re-sign with the Indians and that’s okay the Indians are fine with that. He’s a rental, not just any rental, but a really good rental for two months which is what the Indians need right now. The Indians basically went from a Kia Soul to a Lexus.

Franmil Reyes was one of the San Diego Padres best young prospects. Reyes made his debut on May 14, 2018. Reyes has 634 plate appearances in the big leagues and has hit 43 home runs. What makes this impressive is that he has done it in the spacious Petco Park in San Diego. Reyes OPS thus far in his young career is .843 the league average is .711. Possibly, because of the huge offensive upside of Reyes the best part of the trade is that the Indians control Reyes through the 2024 season.

Logan Allen, the left-handed pitcher who will probably assume the fifth spot in the Indians rotation immediately is also under control by the Indians until the end of the 2025 season. He is listed as the 98th ranked prospect in pro baseball. You might not think 88th is that good. Let me give you some perspective, there are 4,500 prospects in minor league baseball right now.

The other two players in the trade are minor leaguers at this point. LHP Scott Moss and infielder/outfielder Victor Nova. Moss who has nice minor league numbers the last three seasons is 24 years old and is currently in Double-A. He is closer to the Indians than Nova. Nova is 19 and is currently at the AZL Rookie League level.

Moss’s ERA the last three years has been pretty good. Not sure if that will continue, could be a product of the scorekeepers in the Reds system charging to many errors, not sure if serious scorekeepers who respect the game do that, but some people think that happens. Anyway, Moss looks like he could be a steal in this deal if he continues to develop. His K/BB ratio is pretty good. In 408 professional innings he has struck out 420 batters and issued 160 base balls.

As for Bauer he was not going to stay with the Indians after next season and most think he won’t stay in Cincinnati, not because their owners are cheap as the uniformed and stubborn Cleveland fan base likes to think about the Dolans. The reason he won’t stay is because most teams want to have some stability and Bauer wants to pitch on one-year deals for the rest of his career. Not because he’s a jerk, because I don’t believe he is, but because he wants to prove himself every season. Wow imagine that a professional athlete wanting to prove himself and be worth what he’s paid. The Indians like to extend their starting pitchers and sign them to long term deals like they did with 2-time Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco. Of course, there are big mouth fans and bitter softball coaches out there who think the Indians are cheap and don’t like to extend starting pitchers. But the joke is on those two, because once again they are wrong. I mean I consider the source on these types of people. You know like the guy who is a soccer guy, but also thinks he has baseball knowledge, but every time you talk baseball with him you walk away thinking, what the heck is he even talking about. If that guy thinks it’s a bad trade, then that’s even more reason for me to think that it’s a good trade.

I had said all along since rumors surfaced last winter that the Indians were thinking about dealing Bauer that they needed to get a haul for him. I think they did. Of course, there are those of you that read this that will think I am saying this because I always back everything the Indians do, which is false. I did not like the trade they made on Sunday when they dealt away Outfield prospect Ruben Cardenas. I think Cardenas is going to be a very good Major Leaguer. So that right there shoots down your theory that I like everything the organization does.

The difference between myself and people that constantly criticize every move the Indians make is, I try to understand why they make moves and how it effects many different things. You look at moves the Indians make in one way, the Dolans are cheap. Well once again the joke is on you. The best run organization in baseball has made another good trade that will help them for years to come in many areas and I know that really steams you. That I love. One last thing, good luck to Trevor Bauer, I thank him for everything he did while he was a Cleveland Indian.
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​POSTED 07/31/2019 11:08
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