The Indians, Diamondbacks and Reds pulled off a blockbuster nine-player trade this past week that sent Drew Stubbs, Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw to the Indians, Didi Gregorius, Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson to the Diamondbacks and Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald to the Reds.
Though the trade benefited all teams involved, the Indians definitely came out on top. Not only did they receive a speedy outfielder in Drew Stubbs, but they also received one of baseball's highly touted prospects in Trevor Bauer. They also received two relief pitchers, adding further depth to a bullpen that performed well in 2012.
Yes, this deal looks good for the Tribe. Let's take a look at five ways this trade not only helped the Indians in the 2013 season, but will also benefit them in the near and distant future.
Drew Stubbs had a mediocre 2012 campaign. The former eighth overall pick in 2006, Stubbs saw his batting average dip to a career low .213 mark, but once again showed that he has the ability to steal bags and score runs.
Stubbs has wheels, and with the loss of Shin-Soo Choo (who stole 21 bases in 2012), he will be a nice addition to the top of the lineup joining speedy second baseman, Jason Kipnis. Similar to Kipnis, Stubbs also has a little bit of pop in his bat—though his home run totals have slowly declined since the 2010 season.
Having been with the Reds his entire career, perhaps a change of scenery and a move to a young and hungry Indians team will revitalize Stubbs' bat and give him the opportunity to flourish in 2013.
Trevor Bauer was once considered the future ace of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 2011 third overall pick tore up the minor leagues before finally getting promoted to the D-Backs rotation in 2012.
Though his first four starts for Arizona were nothing spectacular, he did strike out 17 batters in 16.1 innings pitched while only surrendering a pair of home runs. Now joining a staff led by Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, Bauer has an incredible opportunity to showcase the skills that made him MLB's fifth overall prospect in 2012.
If the Tribe did one thing right in trading Shin-Soo Choo at the peak of his value, it was the addition of Trevor Bauer to the starting rotation. If he lives up to expectations, Bauer has the stuff and poise to become an ace in the Indians' rotation for many years to come.
Matt Albers may not be the centerpiece of this deal, but he sure had a fine 2012 season split between the Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Albers held a 2.29 ERA in 40 games for the Red Sox before being dealt to the Diamondbacks, where he continued to excel with a 2.57 ERA in 23 games. His performance in prior years with the Red Sox, Orioles and Astros may not have been newsworthy, but Albers is a solid arm that adds further depth to an already exceptional bullpen.
The Indians may have a young team, but with the addition of Albers, the Tribe are poised to have one of the best bullpens in the AL, if not all of Major League Baseball.
Bryan Shaw should be a big part of the Indians' bullpen for many years to come.
Shaw is coming off of two consecutive seasons of fantastic relief for the Diamondbacks and should continue this success with the Indians going into the 2013 season.
In 97 career games, Shaw owns a 3.18 ERA in 87.2 innings. He also finished 19 games for Arizona last season and collected two saves to add to his resume of solid relief.
It's without doubt the addition of both Shaw and Albers will certainly give the Indians one of the most prominent bullpens in 2013.
Asdrubal Cabrera is undeniably one of the most talented shortstops in the game today. He may commit his fare share of errors, but he also appears in more web gems than most players at his position.
During the offseason, Cabrera had been linked to many trade rumors, and it looked for a moment that he was going to be dealt after the Tribe acquired Didi Gregorius from the Reds. However, the Indians found a suitor for Gregorius in the Diamondbacks and were able to offload the talented shortstop while adding an outfielder and three strong pitchers to the staff.
Did the Indians come out on top of this blockbuster nine-player trade? Whether they did or not, keeping Asdrubal Cabrera with the team certainly made them a better club.