What to take away from Tribe's blockbuster deal

Bauer goes to Reds as Indians add 5, including Puig and Franmil

August 1st, 2019

CLEVELAND -- On his way out of town, had one last lunch with former teammate and good friend Mike Clevinger on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was like, 'Hey, look at the return you gave us with you leaving,'” Clevinger said. “'You see how many guys came over here?' So that was a little bright side to it.”

Bauer was informed on Tuesday night that he was part of a three-team deal that shipped him to Cincinnati. In return, the Indians got outfielder and left-handed pitcher Scott Moss from the Reds and outfielder , lefty Logan Allen and infielder Victor Nova from the Padres.

“Trevor had a great deal of success while he was here,” Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said. “We’ve been very successful for the balance of his tenure here, and he certainly contributed to that. … But in the end, we felt this is the right thing to do and we got the right combination of players back for it to make sense for us.”

The Indians' return was quite impressive without even having to touch their farm system. Here are five things to know from Cleveland's blockbuster deal:

Sunday’s meltdown

Bauer ended his Indians career on a sour note, heaving a ball from the pitcher’s mound over the center-field wall out of frustration from his rough outing on Sunday at Kansas City. Antonetti said it was not a factor in their decision to complete the deal.

“Well, first off, we don’t condone what happened in Kansas City,” Antonetti said. “That was problematic for us. But it didn’t really have any impact on our decision and what we felt we needed to do at the Deadline to improve our decision moving forward.”

When Indians manager Terry Francona addressed the media prior to Tuesday’s defeat against the Astros, he explained that he didn’t want that moment to live on as Bauer’s legacy in Cleveland. But at that time, he didn’t know the hurler was hours away from being dealt.

“Not until last night before the game, I think I knew there was a chance,” Francona said. “But I was serious about that. I didn’t want that to be what he’s remembered for. Saying that, I had concerns what it could do to our team and I voiced those concerns. I would never, ever go tell [the front office] something, but they are good enough to always allow me my opinion and you just try to do the best you can, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit worried.”

Who’s going where?

Puig and Reyes are expected to get into town after Wednesday night’s game and could be plugged into the lineup as soon as Thursday's finale against Houston. The two power bats will join the big league club, with 25-man roster moves to clear spots still to be determined.

“Hopefully, they add some depth,” Antonetti said. “They add some balance. Both guys are really productive hitters, are capability of hitting the ball out of the ballpark at any point in time. Combine that with some of the other guys we have in our lineup, we feel like we now have a deep lineup that’s capable of scoring runs in a variety of different ways.”

The two lefty hurlers, Allen and Moss, will head to the Minors, pitching in Triple-A and Double-A, respectively. The 19-year-old Nova will head to the Arizona Rookie League.

“Logan Allen is a guy that was a really high-profile kind of Top 100 type of prospect in the industry who we’ve been following for a long time,” Indians general manager Mike Chernoff said. “… We feel like with his pitch mix and potential continued development, he could be a middle-of-the-rotation-type starter.

“With Moss, really interesting, fourth-round pick for Cincinnati a few years ago with a great three-pitch mix that we feel like can continue to develop and potentially be a starter for us down the road.”

Puig brawl

Antonetti and Chernoff were in Francona’s office after Tuesday’s game when they flipped on the television to see Puig in a brawl on the field during the Reds-Pirates game. The club has yet to be informed if the outfielder will need to serve any form of suspension.

“We know that’s on the table,” Antonetti said. “We don’t yet have clarity around what that might be.”

Reaction to the trade

While in Francona’s office, Antonetti and Chernoff called Bauer into the room to explain the deal that was about to be made.

“[It was] pretty short,” Francona said. “Chris told him what we did, and he said he knew, by then it had kind of hit Twitter and whatever and we wished him well and he went on his way.

“There are times when it’s probably more difficult than others, that’s probably safe to say. ... Sometimes it’s emotional and sometimes it’s not quite as emotional. That’s just being honest.”

Before Bauer left, he hugged his closest friends, Clevinger and Shane Bieber, among a few other teammates and walked out of the clubhouse with his messenger bag over his shoulder.

When asked what Bauer taught him, Bieber said, "A lot. But just always being there and an extra set of eyes, knowing mechanics, knowing pitching just as well as anybody if not better. Really just kind of using him as a second set of eyes and him knowing my mechanics potentially better than I know my own.”

State of the rotation

The Indians will slot Adam Plutko back in the rotation to fill in for Bauer as they wait for Corey Kluber (fractured right arm) to work his way back to the club in the next month.

“It’s a work in progress,” Antonetti said. “There’s some decisions that we need to make and we need to get some continuity and get guys back into the rotation in some cases and figure out roles for other guys.”