Image credit: Trevor Bauer (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
A day after the Mets acquired Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays, the Reds followed suit by reportedly swinging a three-way deal to acquire righthander Trevor Bauer from the Indians. That move meant that two of the summer’s hottest names had landed with teams who were essentially out of playoff contention, leaving pennant dreamers to reverse course and look elsewhere for reinforcements.
The Reds and Indians were joined in the deal with the Padres, who acquired top outfield prospect Taylor Trammell from Cincinnati to sit atop their enviable collection of minor league talent.
For their part, Cleveland landed two huge outfield pieces—Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes, from the Reds and Padres, respectively—to address one of their roster’s chief weaknesses and bolster their team for both the present and future.
Trevor Bauer, RHP
Bauer was one of the hottest names available this summer, and had long been bandied as a potential addition to nearly every contending club with pieces to spare. Though he’d regressed from his all-star form from a season ago—his 63 walks and 14 hit by pitches lead the majors—he’s incredibly durable and is under control for another season, which gives the Reds options. If they contend next year, he’s a valuable piece of the rotation. If not, he could be flipped once again to continue building their farm system.
Yasiel Puig, OF
Puig needs little explanation. He’s one of the game’s most explosive players in a plethora of ways. He’s got power, speed and an absolute railgun of an arm. He’s also mercurial, hot-headed and mistake-prone. Fittingly, he was ejected after being involved in a brawl in his final game with the Reds. Puig was part of the Dodgers-Reds blockbuster this past December, and now instantly becomes one of the of Indians’ best outfielders. If the Indians make the playoffs—they currently sit 2.5 games up for the first wild-card spot and three games back of the Twins in the AL Central—Puig will be a potent October weapon. He will be a free agent after the season.
Franmil Reyes, OF
If you want a hulking slugger, it’s hard to do better than Reyes. A mountain of a man at 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Reyes uses his size and strength to generate volcanic power. His 27 home runs are tied for sixth in the NL and his 92.3 mph average exit velocity is among the top five percent in the league, per baseballsavant.com. His size makes him a well below-average defender with limited mobility in right field, so all his value is tied up in his bat. Reyes is under team control until 2025 and not eligible for arbitration until 2022, giving the Indians a potential middle-of-the-order slugger for years to come.
Logan Allen, LHP
Originally selected by the Red Sox in the eighth round of the 2015 draft, Allen was dealt five months later to the Padres in the blockbuster that sent closer Craig Kimbrel to the Padres. He made his MLB debut on June 18 and ranked No. 7 on BA’s updated Padres Top 30. He operates primarily with a low-90s fastball and a mid-80s slider and changeup. His changeup projects as a plus pitch and all of his four-pitch arsenal, including a little-used curveball, project as at least average. He’s been particularly burned by the longball this year, having given up 12 home runs in 78 innings between Triple-A El Paso and the big leagues. If he can get his home run problems figured out, Allen projects as a durable back-of-the-rotation starter who can pitch above that in his best years.
Scott Moss, LHP
Selected out of Florida in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, Moss has typically relied on an 88-92 mph fastball he commands well to all four quadrants of the strike zone, as well as a slider that flashes above-average. He also throws a fringy changeup. His spin rate has jumped this season, and he’s learning how to better control the movement on his repertoire. He ranked No. 23 on the Reds’ updated Top 30 and projects as a low-leverage reliever.
Victor Nova, 3B
Signed by the Padres out of the Dominican Republic for $200,000 in April 2017, Nova has put together an excellent season in the Rookie-level Arizona League. He boasts a compact, barrel-friendly swing from the left side and has a hit-over-power profile. He’s a plus runner underway, and although he plays third base now might be a better fit in either left or center field as he matures.
Taylor Trammell, OF
Trammell, who ranks as the No. 41 prospect in the game and the top prospect in Cincinnati’s system, has continued to show the ability to control the strike zone and get on base, but has struggled to make much impact at the plate in his first taste of the upper levels. Still, scouts see above-average raw power and above-average speed, which gives them hope that he could blossom into the coveted power-speed prospect. He’s made strides this season in left field but is not an average defender and would need to play center field if he doesn’t develop the power needed to profile in a corner-outfield role. He was one of the youngest players in the Double-A Southern League, so there’s still plenty of time for him to develop.