Reds land Bauer, deal Puig, Trammell

Cincinnati also sends Minors lefty Moss to Cleveland in 3-way trade

July 31st, 2019

CINCINNATI -- It would have taken a big deal to eclipse the Reds’ wild night on the field on Tuesday, and a big deal is what it took. In a blockbuster three-team trade made official Wednesday, Cincinnati acquired star right-hander .

The Reds sent Yasiel Puig and Minor League left-hander Scott Moss to the Indians, the Padres dealt outfielder Franmil Reyes, left-hander Logan Allen and infielder/outfielder Victor Nova to Cleveland and outfielder Taylor Trammell, ranked as the Reds' No. 1 prospect and No. 30 overall by MLB Pipeline, went to San Diego. Bauer is eligible for arbitration in 2020 and he can be a free agent after next season.

While the Reds were engaged in an 11-4 loss to the Pirates and mixing it up in a benches-clearing brawl, one of the fight’s central participants -- Puig -- found out about the trade after being ejected from Tuesday's game for his part in the ninth-inning melee.

“David Hernandez came into the dugout,” said catcher , “and said, 'Did you hear?' I was like, did I hear what? I had no idea what he was talking about and then he said Puig got traded, and I was like, 'He did?' He said, 'Yeah, we got Bauer.' I was like, 'Holy cow.' I didn't see that coming, honestly.”

“The part I love the most is being here around my teammates,” Puig said. “They gave me a lot of respect, a lot of love. And all you guys [in the media], too, giving a lot of love and respect. I want to thank all of you guys and Cincinnati. We’ll be staying next door, we’re going to Cleveland.”

Meanwhile, other Reds players were ecstatic about landing Bauer.

“Man, I can’t wait. That’s a legit ace,” left fielder Jesse 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. 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.”

Cincinnati’s rotation entered Tuesday night with the National League’s third-best ERA with Bauer joins a group that already boasts All-Star right-handers Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray along with Tanner Roark, Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani. Roark and Wood can be free agents after this season, but Bauer joins Castillo, Gray, and DeSclafani as the core of what should be a formidable 2020 rotation.

“And to add a guy like that to us, I don't know if I can think of a better rotation in all of baseball,” Barnhart said.

Bauer, 28, had a breakout season in 2018 and he was an All-Star who finished sixth in American League Cy Young Award voting. Last season, he posted a 2.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 31 percent strikeout rate for Cleveland.

In 2019, Bauer is 9-8 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 24 starts and an MLB-leading 156 2/3 innings, but his final throw for the Indians was a controversial one. As he was about to pulled from his start after allowing seven earned runs over 4 1/3 innings at Kansas City, he angrily heaved the ball over the center-field wall and later apologized.

Bauer declined to comment about the trade when asked by reporters in Cleveland.

“He’s nasty, man. I’m glad he’s coming to our team because, man, he’s a great pitcher,” Reds utility player Derek Dietrich said. “He’s very intelligent and he knows what he’s doing. It’ll be cool to meet him and go to battle with him.”

In an odd twist, the Reds didn’t pull Puig from Tuesday's game as reports revealed the trade as being agreed upon. In the ninth inning, when Reds reliever Amir Garrett charged the Pirates' dugout and started throwing punches, Puig was front and center in the middle of the fracas. It left many wondering what might happen to the deal if he was injured or suspended.

“That was crazy. I have a lot of respect for Amir Garrett,” said Puig, who is hitting .252 with 23 home runs and 61 RBIs in 100 games this season. “He did something he was supposed to do and all the pitchers on the team are supposed to do that.”

The Reds were in go-for-it mode in the offseason when Puig was acquired from the Dodgers in a seven-player trade that included pitcher Alex Wood and utility player Kyle Farmer. Now at 49-56, Cincinnati is fourth in the NL Central standings and 7 1/2 games out of first place. But the clubhouse was buzzing that the team was still trying to improve for this season, and the next one. Bauer is making $13 million in ’19.

Said Barnhart: “From a player's perspective, who has been around here for a long time and seen a lot of [stuff], a lot of bad records, see guys come and go, true, good friends of mine, great teammates, guys who showed me what it's like to be a Major Leaguer, to have seen that through and now be a part of where the organization feels like we're in a position where we want to start winning and make this team better, it's definitely a very welcoming thing for me specifically and I would assume that the entire clubhouse would say the same.”

While thrilled with Bauer, players also expressed some sadness to see Puig go.

“It was an absolute pleasure to play with the guy. He’s awesome,” Winker said. “He’s a hell of a teammate. It was a true joy.”