Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Indians, Reds, Padres agree on three-team trade involving Trevor Bauer, Yasiel Puig

20 Comments

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Indians, Reds, and Padres have agreed on a three-team trade. The Indians will receive Yasiel Puig, Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen, Scott Moss, and Victor Nova. The Reds will get Trevor Bauer, and the Padres will get Taylor Trammell.

Bauer, 28, hasn’t lived up to the lofty standards he set when he finished with a 2.21 ERA last year. He currently owns a 3.79 ERA with 185 strikeouts and a major league-high 63 walks in 156 2/3 innings. The right-hander, earning $13 million this season, will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2020.

Puig, 28, has had a down year offensively, batting .255/.305/.480 with 22 home runs and 60 RBI in 400 plate appearances entering Tuesday’s action. He’s owed the remainder of his $8.7 million salary before heading into free agency after the season.

Reyes, 24, has burst onto the scene, belting 43 home runs since making his major league debut in mid-May 2018. This year, he’s gone deep 27 times and knocked in 46 runs while batting .253/.312/.535 in 349 trips to the plate. Reyes hasn’t yet reached a year of service time, so he will be under the Indians’ control for quite some time.

Allen, 22, is the Padres’ No. 7 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He made his big league debut on June 18. Since then, he has allowed 20 runs (19 earned) on 32 hits and 13 walks with 14 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. Prior to 2019, however, his stats in the minors were quite good and there is obviously some potential there.

Trammell, 21, was selected by the Reds in the first round (35th overall) in the 2016 draft. He’s the Reds’ No. 1 prospect and No. 30 across baseball, per MLB Pipeline. With Double-A Chattanooga this year, Trammell has hit .236/.350/.338 with 17 extra-base hits, 33 RBI, 47 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 377 PA.

Nova, 19, has spent his season in rookie ball. He’s spent time at third base, center field, left field, and second base while batting .330/.421/.451 in 109 PA.

Moss, 24, is rated No. 12 in the Reds’ system. With Chattanooga this year, he owns a 3.44 ERA with 123 strikeouts and 57 walks in 102 innings of work.

Nats’ success shouldn’t be about Bryce Harper

Getty Images
7 Comments

Bryce Harper turns 27 years old today. As an early birthday present, he got to watch his former team reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history. His new team finished exactly at .500 in fourth place, missing the playoffs. These were facts that did not go unnoticed as the Nationals completed an NLCS sweep of the Cardinals at home last night.

Harper spent seven seasons with the Nationals before hitting free agency and ultimately signing with the Phillies on a 13-million, $330 million contract. The Nationals offered Harper a 10-year, $300 million contract at the end of the 2018 regular season, but about $100 million of that was deferred until he was 65 which lowered the present-day value of the offer. The Nats’ offer wasn’t even in the same ballpark, really.

Nevertheless, Nationals fans were upset that their prodigy jilted them to go to the Phillies. He was mercilessly booed whenever the Phillies played in D.C. Nats fans’ Harper jerseys were destroyed, or at least taped over.

Harper, of course, was phenomenal with the Nationals. He won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2012, then won the NL MVP Award several years later with an historically outstanding 1.109 OPS while leading the league with 42 homers and 118 runs scored. Overall, as a National, he had a .900 OPS. Pretty good. He was also productive in the postseason, posting an .801 OPS across 19 games, mostly against playoff teams’ best starters and best relievers. Furthermore, if the Nats had Harper this year, he would have been in right field in lieu of Adam Eaton. Harper out OPS’d Eaton by 90 points and posted 2.5 more WAR in a similar amount of playing time. The Nationals would have been even better if they had Harper this year.

The Nationals lost all four Division Series they appeared in during the Harper era. 3-2 to the Cardinals in 2012, 3-1 to the Giants in ’14, 3-2 to the Dodgers in ’16, and 3-2 to the Cubs in ’17. They finally get over the hump the first year they’re without Harper, that’s the difference, right? I saw the phrase “addition by subtraction” repeatedly last night, referring to Harper and the Nats’ subsequent success without him.

Harper, though, didn’t fork over four runs to the Cardinals in the top of the ninth inning in Game 5 in 2012. He didn’t allow the Dodgers to rally for four runs in the seventh inning of Game 5 in ’16 before ultimately losing 4-3. He didn’t use a gassed Max Scherzer in relief in 2017’s Game 5, when he allowed five of the seven Cubs he faced to reach base, leading to three runs which loomed large in a 9-8 loss. If certain rolls of the dice in those years had gone the Nationals’ way, they would have appeared in the NLCS. They might’ve even been able to win a World Series.

The Nationals saw how that looks this year. It was the opposing manager this time, Dave Roberts, who mismanaged his bullpen. Howie Kendrick then hit a tie-breaking grand slam in the 10th inning off of Joe Kelly to win the NLDS for the Nats. The playoffs are random. Sometimes a ball bounces your way, sometimes an umpire’s call goes your way, and sometimes the opposing manager makes several unforced errors to throw Game 5 in your lap.

Reaching the World Series, then thumbing your nose while sticking out your tongue at Harper feels like a guy tagging his ex-girlfriend on his new wedding photos. It’s time to move on.