The Reds were looking for a quality outfielder to improve a lineup that was the worst aspect of their playoff team last season, and they have found their man in Shin-Soo Choo. Choo and Jason Donald will both become Reds, while Drew Stubbs will become an Indian. The Indians also get Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers, and Bryan Shaw from the Diamondbacks, while Arizona gets Didi Gregorius, Tony Sipp, and Lars Anderson. The Indians are also giving the Reds $3.5 million to account for salary concerns.
Choo had a rough year in 2011 both personally and on the field, but he seems to be back in fine form now. He put up a very solid .283/.373/.441 line with 16 homers and 21 steals in 2012; it’s a solid season even if he didn’t reach the heights he did in 2009 and 2010. Bauer shot up the minor league ranks before struggling mightily in his first attempt at making Major League starts, while Stubbs continues to frustrate with his awful approach at the plate (.213/.277/.333 with a 30.5% strikeout rate) even as he performs very well in center field.
This deal makes a lot of sense for both the Reds and the Indians. The Reds are a real contender, and adding a bat like Choo is a big help to the top of the lineup. He’s patient, has some power, and excels on the basepaths. It looks like he may end up playing center field, which is something he’s barely ever done, but he’ll still be valuable even if he can’t master the position. Meanwhile, the Indians are doing what they should be doing by trading in a veteran chip for players with upside. Bauer is an excellent starting pitching prospect even if his stock has dropped a bit, and Stubbs has power and speed that could translate into better results at some point.
As for the Diamondbacks, I’m not sure what the thought process was here. All offseason they have been rumored to be looking for a talented young shortstop, but when they failed to grab someone like Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar it looks like they set their sights on Gregorius. Gregorius is known as an excellent defender with little in the way of patience at the plate, so he’s a decent prospect, but he’s hardly worth surrendering a guy with Bauer’s ceiling. The Reds have improved their chances for 2013, the Indians have made their future squads better, and the Diamondbacks have, well, made a mistake.
Tagged: Arizona Diamondbacks, Bryan Shaw, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Didi Gregorius, Drew Stubbs, Jason Donald, Lars Anderson, MLB hot stove, MLB Trade Rumors, MLB Trades, Shin-Soo Choo, Tony Sipp, Trevor Bauer