It seems the late-afternoon Knobblings evolved into a full scale swap, as the Reds and Indians did indeed exchange players, including the aforementioned Drew Stubbs and Shin-Soo Choo. But the eager Diamondbacks horned in on the action, getting their desperately needed shortstop and some bullpen support. The full deal is as follows:

To Cincinnati To Cleveland To Arizona

The Reds get their man. After posting some rather putrid numbers out of the leadoff spot in 2012, Cincy gets a high-OBP outfielder to slot ahead of the rest of their high OBP and power guys. They pay a pretty steep price for one year of Choo’s services in Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregoris.

Cleveland does very well in this deal, converting one year of Choo’s services and pre-arb utility man Jason Donald is into the third overall pick in the 2011 draft, Trevor Bauer. Bauer became something of a sideshow for the Diamondbacks this year, thanks to his outspoken pitching beliefs and his controversial (and awesome) pregame long toss routine.

Despite all the hype and quick ascent to the big leagues, Bauer struggled with his control and battled — somewhat publicly — with Diamondbacks management in 2012. Strange that they new braintrust in AZ would sour on Bauer so quickly (previous GM Jerry Dipoto drafted the right-hander from UCLA.) Many still believe Bauer will reach his ceiling as a number two starter, they love his arsenal and #want. Others, myself included, are less than convinced. If his stuff is as good as advertised, why not trust it?

The Spiders also acquire Stubbs, a strong outfielder with moderate to severe contact issues – without the requisite power to offset the 30% strikeout rate. His speed isn’t well utilized walking back to the dugout after another strikeout but with three remaining years of control, Stubbs gives Cleveland time to upgrade.

Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw are relief pitchers. Everybody needs relievers. Albers was okay for the Red Sox once. Bryan Shaw throws with his right hand and was a five-time NBA champion as a player and coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Arizona gets something it waited weeks to double up on – a defense-first shortstop. After shipping Chris Young (aka Drew Stubbs‘ best case scenario) to Oakland in exchange for Cliff Pennington, the Snakes now have Didi Gregorius to fill in should anything happen to Cliff. Lots of tools but the usual concerns about the ability to stick at shortstop and/or hit in the big leagues that come with any up-the-middle prospect.

Arizona also acquires Lars Anderson, a prospect veering dangerously close to the “busted” end of the spectrum after his time in the Red Sox system elevated his stock. A first baseman yet to slug .500 above double-A is not a player upon which many hopes are hung.

Is Gregorius really the best haul Kevin Towers could muster for Trevor Bauer? What is the Diamondbacks play here, other than a much stronger belief in their new SS and a dimmer view of what Bauer offers both now and in the future.

The Reds want to win, they do. They want to win the NL Central and realize that beating the Cardinals in 2013 requires an upgrade in their offense. Choo will walk at the end of the year, clearing the way for Billy Hamilton.

For now the Reds eschew defense in exchange for slugging it out with the Cardinals and Brewers (?) in the NL Central. Cleveland builds towards the next good team, getting younger and cheaper, shrewdly buying low on a legit talent in Bauer.

Arizona? They get nicer? Less likely to extol the virtues of pitching up in the zone on twitter? We’re told the D-Backs will no longer consider offers for Justin Upton which, good? Maybe I’m crazy but they seem like a club headed in a weird direction, considering the recent activities of their division mates. It is entirely possible they are right about both Gregorius and Bauer but, for now, it leaves many scratching their heads.

Comments (18)

  1. I don’t get this one at all from Arizona’s point of view?

    • That’s what I thought when I saw this last night.

      Right before Bauer made his MLB debut, he was being hyped as the next great young pitcher. Now he gets dealt for a 28 y/o reliever, a minor league SS whose ceiling is Jack Wison and a former hyped prospect who is now is a suspect.

      I would think if Bauer flopped for the next 2 years in the majors, you could get that type of package for him then.
      I don’t get it!

  2. Refers to them as Cleveland Spiders and the Billy Hamilton link goes to ‘sliding’ Billy Hamilton from the 1890′s. Excellent obscure historical baseball references.

  3. Ya this one is a bit of a head-scratcher for AZ.. I like it a lot for the Clevelands and the Reds though. Choo is a great addition for that lineup.

  4. Whats going on in Arizona that we dont see? They didnt seem to get much for Bauer, you would think there were better deals out there for him or another way to pick up a short-stop? They also seem to be intent on trading Justin Upton! Clearly they are on a mission to downgrade their roster. Bizzare to an outsider

    • I’d say they got for Bauer exactly what they wanted. Their valuation of Gregorius is the puzzling thing for me but you never know.

      • Well i suppose when you look on from the outside there is often a higher value on a prospect than perhaps the organization itself has. Kansas being fine example this week of the masses feeling that thier prospects should have fetched a lot more. As a Jays fans i am used to the Red Sox & Yankees consistently pimping their prospects through their “friends” in the media and then actually including them in deals that being back good value

  5. “His speed isn’t well utilized walking back to the dugout after another strikeout but with three remaining years of control, Stubbs gives Cleveland time to upgrade.”

    I almost spat out my coffee drink

  6. Why is the name Indians so offensive? I’m not trolling or anything I’m genuinely interested. It’s not like naming them after the Native population was some big joke, right? I thought there would be some some sense of endearment for the indigenous peoples embedded in calling the team that.

    Is it similar to Noam Chomsky’s criticism that we name our weapons after the people we’ve committed genocide on?

    • It’s not necessarily using the outdated term that’s offensive. It’s using Natives as mascots and logos. Similarly to blackface, there’s a lot of historical weight that comes with using Natives as cartoonish charactures of themselves.

      • It’s hard to say it’s a term of endearment when the term itself isn’t even used by Natives to describe themselves. I don’t know any indigenous peoples who frequently refer to themselves as “Indians” (or the even-more-racist term “Redskins”). It’s no more endearing than the use of the n-word towards African-Americans.

        Here’s the primary difference: when a marginalized people tell you what word to use towards them, that’s self-determination; when you tell them what word you’ll use towards them, that’s oppression.

        Rather than rehash all the commentary for or against the use of “Indians” as the name of a sports team, I’ll just reiterate the single most convincing argument I’ve ever heard on the subject:

        No brand-new expansion team in any sport would ever consider choosing such a name today. That fact alone shows how outdated these names are, and avoiding their use is a good first step towards enacting change.

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