CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer sat at his locker Tuesday with a bright red face as his teammates stopped by to hug him on their way out the door.
The Indians announced Wednesday morning that they have traded the right-handed Bauer to the Reds as part of a three-team deal with the Padres.
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Bauer’s name had been discussed in trade rumors all offseason, but the Indians were never offered a deal that was enough to make them bite. But the package the Tribe is bringing to Cleveland is certainly everything the club had been hoping for.
The Reds are sending outfielder Yasiel Puig and Minor League left-hander Scott Moss to Cleveland. The Padres are shipping outfielder Franmil Reyes, lefty Logan Allen and infielder/outfielder Victor Nova to the Tribe. Outfielder Taylor Trammell, the Reds' No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and No. 30 overall, is headed to San Diego.
Puig and Reyes will report to the big league club, and right-hander Carlos Carrasco (leukemia) and reliever Dan Otero (shoulder inflammation) have been transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
PADRES GET: Taylor Trammell (from Cincinnati)
REDS GET: Trevor Bauer (from Cleveland)
INDIANS GET: Yasiel Puig, Scott Moss (from Cincinnati); Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen, Victor Nova (from San Diego)
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“Over the last several weeks, we explored the trade market in an effort to enhance our competitive position, both by supplementing our Major League roster and infusing young talent into the organization,” Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said in a statement released by the team. “We appreciate Trevor’s contributions to the organization in his time with us, and while it’s never easy to part with a player of his caliber, we feel we’ve traded from an area of depth to help bolster our Major League club for this year and the foreseeable future.”
Bauer’s lockermate and good friend, Shane Bieber, started on Tuesday and knew the media was heading his way to talk to him after the game, so he stood up and shuffled a few feet away to carry the attention away from the back of the room where their lockers sit side-by-side. But as Bieber wrapped up his interview, Mike Clevinger and Bauer shared a long embrace just over Bieber’s shoulder. The news broke minutes later.
“I want to process it before I fully give my answer because you’re losing a [darn] good pitcher in a race right now,” Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. “That’s no fun for our clubhouse, and I’m sure it wasn’t any fun for our front office if it is true and it did happen. That’s a hard trigger to pull. Hopefully, we get some guys here who are ready to compete and ready to fit in and are ready to buy in to what we’re doing here.”
Bringing bats to Cleveland
There’s no secret that the Indians have desperately needed a bit of pop to be added to the middle of their batting order to relieve Kipnis as the cleanup hitter on days that right-handed pitchers are on the mound. The club got the power it’s been searching for.
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One moment, Puig is involved in a melee on the field in the Reds-Pirates game, and the next minute he finds out he’ll be heading across Ohio to join the Indians. The right-handed hitter is batting .252 with 15 doubles, 22 home runs, 61 RBIs in 100 games with the Reds this season. In his last 41 contests, he’s hitting .318 with 11 homers and 27 RBIs. Puig entered Tuesday with a .581 slugging percentage and a .929 OPS since the beginning of June. The 28-year-old is eligible for free agency after this season.
“I figured out that after the game,” Puig said of the trade. “I’m going to miss all of my teammates here. This part of the year has been amazing for me, being on this team with my teammates and the city. I’m leaving a lot of love. Now it’s time to move forward and go to my new team and help my team get to the playoffs.”
Along with Puig, the Tribe added another power bat in the form of the 24-year-old Reyes, who is under club control through the 2024 season. Reyes, another right-handed hitter, batted .255 with nine doubles, 27 homers and 46 RBIs in 99 games with the Padres this season. While Puig and Reyes will join the big league roster, Allen (the Padres’ No. 7 prospect, 98th overall by MLB Pipeline) will head to Triple-A, Moss (No. 12 prospect in Reds’ organization) will likely be assigned to Double-A and 19-year-old Nova is expected to head to the Rookie League in Arizona.
“In Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig, we’ve acquired a pair of right-handed-hitting power bats we expect to impact our lineup immediately,” Antonetti said. “We’re also excited to add Logan Allen, a rising left-handed starting pitcher prospect who made his MLB debut this year, in addition to two more young prospects, Scott Moss and Victor Nova, that we’re eager to welcome to our organization.”
Reds excitement for Bauer
Since Bauer was traded to the Indians in a three-team deal in 2012, the right-hander has been working to erase his label of being a bad teammate. And while Bauer’s last moment on the mound in an Indians uniform was his emotional outburst on Sunday, throwing a ball over the center-field wall from the pitcher’s mound out of frustration, Kipnis was quick to point out that Bauer was always fighting for his team.
“He’s one of those guys, he’s set in his ways,” Kipnis said. “You just have to get used to him. Telling him, ‘Don’t do that,’ doesn’t resonate with him. You’ve got to give him a reason why or show him why that makes sense to him. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, a bad teammate, just because he has his own ways about things.”
The Reds may be in fourth place in the National League Central, but the club just added an ace to its roster. Bauer will join a rotation that currently consists of Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Tanner Roark, Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani. Bauer is under club control through 2020, which will be his final season of arbitration eligibility.
Even if Cincinnati is 7 1/2 games out of its division, outfielder Jesse Winker is looking forward to adding Bauer to the club.
“Man, I can’t wait. That’s a legit ace. Now we’ve got … man! I’m so happy,” Winker said. “We already had a really, really legit pitching staff, and now it just got even better. Welcome Trevor Bauer to the cool city of Ohio. [Laughs] Am I allowed to say that? The battle of Ohio, we’ve got the cooler city, how about that? I’m excited. I can’t wait to meet him and play behind him.
“I’m happy I don’t have to hit against him anymore. … Like I said, we’ve got a legit pitching staff, and it just got more legit. How about that for a quote?”
Bauer has pitched to a 3.79 ERA this season, fanning 185 batters over 156 2/3 frames. He leads the Majors in innings pitched, batters faced and pitches thrown.
“I’m guessing we were probably favored in every game that he started,” Kipnis said. “He’s been in the Cy Young race the last couple years. You ask opposing hitters, he’s one of the top strikeout leaders in the league and he’s a [darn] good righty and eats up innings. There’s a lot of value in that. We’ll see. Like I said, he’s one of the better pitchers in this league. We know that. He knows that. You can’t really take that away from him. So you feel confident when he’s out there on the mound.”
Padres land Reds’ No. 1 prospect
Trammell, ranked as MLB Pipeline's No. 30 overall prospect, was hitting .236/.349/.336 at Double-A Chattanooga with six home runs and 17 steals. Though he’s in the midst of a down year, the Padres feel as though the 21-year-old speedster is poised to rebound. Team evaluators love Trammell’s skill set as a lefty-hitting on-base threat -- a clear area of need in San Diego. He also could lock down center field, about the only position where San Diego had long-term questions.
Reyes, meanwhile, has a .255/.314/.536 slash line this season. He has quickly developed into one of the game's premier sluggers – and a fan favorite – even if his outfield defense left much to be desired.
By trading the 24-year-old Reyes, the Padres made it clear they're committing to Hunter Renfroe long term in a corner-outfield spot. The two sluggers had similar offensive profiles, but Renfroe, 27, has been far superior defensively. San Diego had long been open to trading one of the two, clearing the other corner spot for in-house options like Wil Myers and Josh Naylor.
Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.