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Shin-Soo Choo heads to Reds, Trevor Bauer lands with Indians in three-team mega-trade

Dec 11, 2012, 9:26 PM EDT

choo getty Getty Images

That three-team mega-trade between the Indians, Reds and Diamondbacks has been made official.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports has the breakdown:

Reds get:

OF Shin-Soo Choo
INF Jason Donald

Indians get:

SP Trevor Bauer
OF Drew Stubbs
RP Bryan Shaw
RP Matt Albers

Diamondbacks get:

SS Didi Gregorius
RP Tony Sipp
OF Lars Anderson

Declaring winners and losers moments after a trade has been completed is futile, but it sure seems like the Diamondbacks got hosed here. Gregorius is a strong defensive shortstop, but the 22-year-old has registered a paltry .323 on-base percentage in five minor league seasons and seems doubtful to develop much power. Sipp is only a mediocre left-handed reliever and Anderson’s star has faded over the past couple of years.

That’s not a very impressive return for a guy like Bauer, who was drafted third overall in 2011 and had gaudy numbers (2.42 ERA, 157/61 K/BB over 130 1/3 innings) in 2012 between the Double-A and Triple-A levels.

On the other side of things, Bauer is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Indians, who have been dying for quality young starting pitching. And Stubbs is a guy that makes sense for the Tribe because he carries such excellent raw tools. The 28-year-old center fielder is worth the risk for a rebuilding franchise.

It’s also quite easy to love this deal for Cincinnati. In Choo, the Reds get a perfect leadoff man to place in front of Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier. Their outfield defense may be iffy, but that’s a dynamic starting lineup that should tear through most National League pitching.

  1. jrs45 - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    So frustrating being a Tribe fan!

    Reynolds Stubbs and a healthy Hafner….Hello Strikeout City!!!

    • Pierre Cruzatte - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:04 PM

      We just got Trevor Frickin’ Bauer. I know we’re Indians fans, but sometimes it’s still ok to smile.

    • jwbiii - Dec 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM

      Hafner? He’s a free agent. The only thing I’ve read about him recently is that Houston might consider him as a DH if Berkman doesn’t want the job.

      • jwbiii - Dec 12, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        Now Houston is saying that they aren’t considering Hafner, that they want a younger guy.

  2. cackalackyank - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Hmmm, next up “Welcome to Cleveland, Mr. Swisher”?

    • Kevin Gillman - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:20 PM

      Or Cody Ross.

  3. merchie89 - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Dont know much on Didi, but hear he is a great fielder not great bat=basically Cozart.

    Reds probably have Cozart for the next 4 years or so, so they can probably find a better SS option by then.

    Really wish this wasnt just a rental deal though. Needs to be World Series or bust basically

    • contraryguy - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      They could sign Choo to a contract extension in the coming year instead of letting him go to FA, but yeah, there is that sense of urgency in Cinci. Which is a refreshing change, I’d say.

      So they’ve resigned Ludwick, Bruce is in right for the long term; Choo in center. Nice.

      • paperlions - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM

        Scott Boras thinks your suggestion of a contract extension for Choo is quaint.

      • okwhitefalcon - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:50 PM

        They’ll make a qualifying offer to Choo and take the compensatory pick I’d suspect.

        Wouldn’t be surprised if Choo ends up in right and Bruce to center…

  4. contraryguy - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    OMG. OK, so the Reds get the OF they wanted, and a decent backup for the infield. Love it. Dbacks get a couple of top prospects; was no room for Didi at SS on the Reds, but keep an eye on him. Indians get… eh…

    • cackalackyank - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      Indians get to sign someone….

    • ccraig232 - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:50 PM

      The Indians turning Gregorious into Bauer was a nice move. Not an “eh” move. Gregorious is nothing special. Nice defensively and a below average bat. You don’t trade top 10 prospects for players like that. Diamondbacks gave up on Bauer way to soon and will probably end up regretting it.

    • djpostl - Dec 11, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      “Dbacks get a couple of top prospects”


      They gave up way too much for what they got in return.

      • azvikefan - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:08 AM

        You are correct dj. What the hell is Kevin towers doing? Bauer will be very good.
        As a d-backs and Twins fan I guess I’ll be watching a lot of other games on my extra innings package this year. Neither team has done shit this off season,as usual.

  5. natsattack - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Bauer was a good pickup.

  6. canoyoulie - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    bauer is too much drama and not worth the price or effort. good luck on that one indians. 😉

  7. proudlycanadian - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    A lot of spare parts were moved.

  8. blantoncollier - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    By adding both Reynolds and Stubbs this week, Larry Dolan gets a two-fer. First two players with lots of strikeouts. Maybe the World Record for team strike outs. But more importantly he can take the wind speed from their strikeouts and add it to the wind tower at the top of Progressive Field to create even more wind energy. So he lowers his electirc bill in the process.

    Thanks Larry! Huge improvement!

  9. webbza - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Just wrote an article on the Shields/Myers trade. Please check out my blog and let me know what you think in the comments.

    • canoyoulie - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:04 PM

      what the hell is a webbza? you think that name will get people attracted to your blog? lol

  10. boyofzimmer - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Kevin Towers should be fired. Trade Upton too while you’re at it, wouldn’t want anyone promising on the team.

  11. goldensombrero3000 - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    I hope that the Cleveland cop that pulled over Choo on that terrible night in 2011 said, “this DUI is a Shin-Soo I.!

  12. giantboy99 - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Arizona got fleeced

    • Caught Looking - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:02 PM

      I would have thought that Bauer’s inclusion in a deal would at least have brought back Cabrera or something of more value.

  13. jrs45 - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Choo will be in Cin this year and after the year is up he’ll explore FA. So maybe just maybe Cle got a steal. Choo looking for the huge $$$ + Donald I could see their point in this trade.

  14. malvord13 - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Absolutely Craig the kids 22 years old, and now they want nothing to do with him? Cus he didn’t have great starts? They have up on him WAY to early. He hasn’t even developed yet. Big mistake by the backs. Bauer is young and still have plenty of room to grow.

  15. paperlions - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    This looks like a solid deal for the Reds to rent Choo (Donald isn’t really any good), and a good return for Cleveland…Bauer is 21 and a potential stud, and a bunch of uninspiring stuff for Arizona (a SS and corner OF with solid regular as their best case scenario and a below average RP).

  16. kkolchak - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Didi Gregorius sounds like the name of a Bond girl.

  17. spudchukar - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Reds certainly see this as an upgrade offensively, but Stubbs was a helluva good center fielder, and while Ludwig and Bruce are slightly above average, with good arms, Choo will be a liability in center especially when compared to Stubbs. Neither Ludwig nor Bruce have great range, and Choo’s presence will accentuate that.

    At home the outfield defense won’t be as critical, but on the road in larger NL parks, look for that weakness to become apparent.

    • paperlions - Dec 11, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      It is going to be some ugly OF defense if they plan on playing all 3 at once. None of the three has had league average range since 2010…some good arms….but a lot of balls are going to be falling in the Cinci OF next year….but they’ll hit well.

      • bailey2626 - Dec 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        Jay Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo were finalists for 2012 Gold Gloves. I think they will be just fine covering the outfield, even playing at the same time. Not like they play in San Diego half the season. Plus they have Hesiey, who is a decent replacement. Stubbs’ defense was good, but like his batting average, it has gone down the last couple of years. There’s a reason why the Reds had the 2nd best defense in MLB last year…and it wasn’t all Stubbs.

      • paperlions - Dec 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        Being a finalist for a GG doesn’t really mean anything, those are voted on by guys that are more influenced by reputation than anything else…and many of their selections are laughable. All of the advanced metrics based on video show Choo and Bruce to have below average range for a RF.

        Yes, playing a park with a small OF will help.

        The Reds most certainly did not have the 2nd best defense in the league last year, they were solid, but they weren’t in the top 1/3 in terms of turning batted balls into outs…they just didn’t make a lot of errors, which isn’t the same thing as having a great defense.

    • jl9830 - Dec 12, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      Ludwig, also known as Ludwick, is actually quite poor defensively. He is nowhere near “slightly above average.”

  18. tashkalucy - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Would someone that knows (beyond statistics) explain why in a time when pitching is at a premium, the Diamondbacks would give up on a can’t miss, top ranked, 21-year-old pitching prospect that is “major league ready”?

    • paperlions - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      Other than saying “because they are kinda stupid”….I can’t think of a reason they’d give up Bauer and get no one that is a difference maker in return.

    • js20011041 - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM

      Stupidity. Even if they believe that Bauer’s not likely to fulfill the hype warranted by his draft slot, I still can’t see trading him for a player with the upside of being an average major leaguer. You’ve got to take the chance that Bauer turns into something special. Not many pitchers have his ability to miss bats.

    • rmcd13 - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:43 PM

      The Diamondbacks have been trying to acquire a shortstop all off-season. They dumped Chris Young on the A’s for Cliff Pennington, then decided they didn’t like Pennington and tried to trade Justin Upton for Elvis Andrus. When that failed they made this stupid trade. The Dbacks developed tunnel vision in acquiring a SS and it cost them a great pitching prospect.

  19. spicyjimbolaya - Dec 11, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    The Twins are looking sad right now. They don’t even have enough trade bait to go after a Trevor Bauer, let alone a Jamie Shields. They will be bringing up the rear in the AL Central for years to come unless they get rid of that albatross named Mauer.

    • pmcenroe - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      what does Mauer have to do with it? And how does getting rid of their best player improve the team?

  20. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 11, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    can Choo handle CF?

    • paperlions - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:53 AM

      No. They don’t have a CF on the roster. They have 3 guys whose defense has been declining the last few years. Ludwick is even a below average LF right now (and that is saying something because an average defensive LFer is still pretty bad).

  21. jkaflagg - Dec 11, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    D-backs have made some slick moves in the past few years, but this doesn’t look like one of them…..hard to believe they couldn’t get someone to cough up a top prospect for Bauer….

    • kinggw - Dec 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM

      You can’t spend the whole season bad mouthing a guy and then expect a top return for him a few months later when you decide you don’t want him anymore.

  22. adcoop22 - Dec 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    The only thing I can think of is sending Reynolds to Baltimore and getting David Hernandez back. Everyone that the DBacks got hosed there too. Now Reynolds is meeting up with Bauer while Hernandez is still shutting teams down for AZ.

  23. rickeye9 - Dec 12, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    WTF dbacks, why even attend the draft? Enough said…

  24. brownsapologist - Dec 12, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Choo has a hose in right field. I will miss watching him throw the ball into the infield. Not looking forward to 2013 for the tribe.

  25. kxlllxst - Dec 12, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    Thank you for linking us to Jeff Passan’s ‘breakdown’ – very helpful

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