The Arizona Diamondbacks traded pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Cleveland Indians as part of a three-team deal last evening. The D’Backs obtained shortstop Didi Gregorius of the Cincinnati Reds addressing their most pressing need and with some luck, hoping the 21-year old stays in Arizona for at least the next decade. Also moving on from Arizona, were relievers Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers, who headed to Cleveland in the trade. First baseman Lars Anderson and lefty reliever Tony Sipp were also part of the deal as they head to the desert from Cleveland.
I have had roughly half-a-day to think about the decision that was made last night by the D’Backs brass. This was big news with lots of names to digest. And after the last 18 hours, I still don’t know how to react.
I was stunned at first, that the team actually traded Bauer, the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year. We know that he had issues with members of the the club starting with Miguel Montero and the remarks Miggy made after one of Bauer’s starts were not flattering towards the rookie. Owner Ken Kendrick also chimed in with some comments in October about Bauer’s maturity.
However, talking about trading Bauer and actually trading Bauer are two different things. Judging by the fan reaction and several members of the media, most people feel the D’Backs got fleeced. After all, Bauer is listed as the #5 prospect on mlb.com’s list of top 100 prospects while Gregorius isn’t even ranked. In fact, he was the Reds’ #2 shortstop in their system behind Billy Hamilton. Many are saying general manager Kevin Towers did not get enough for the #3 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
The truth is, no one knows how Bauer or Gregoruis will turn out. Both spent time at the big league level in 2012 with the shortstop having more success than the pitcher. Maybe the Arizona brass feels that Bauer will never live up to the hype.
I feel that Tyler Skaggs is more of a sure thing than Bauer. Wade Miley and his second place finish as the National League Rookie of the Year already is established at the Major League level. The team is deep in pitching talent and while you can never have too much of it, some of the wealth can and should be used to fill other holes.
As far as the team getting “fleeced” goes, maybe this was the best deal out there. Most of us agree that Towers is pretty good at his job. What does it say about Bauer that other teams around the league never gave a more serious offer? They had to have known he was on the block, yet there were no real tangible discussions about a better deal.
The club should get the benefit of the doubt, but then again, last year’s trade which netted Trevor Cahill for Jarrod Parker hasn’t worked out so far. I think the most helpful attitude regarding this deal is to take a wait and see approach. The verdict on which player is better may not take place for another three years.
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