CLEVELAND– It may be the off season, but the Cleveland Indians are busy working to improve their baseball team, one that finished the year 68-94, in fourth place in the American League Central Division and 20 games out of first place.
They made a huge blockbuster deal on Tuesday night, sending fan favorite Shin-Soo Choo and three other players to Cincinnati and Arizona in exchange for three pitchers and an outfielder.
The Indians two biggest acquisitions in the trade include 21-year-old right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer and center fielder Drew Stubbs.
Tribe General Manager, Chris Antonetti, said Bauer is pretty close to being major league ready as a pitcher and that he is not going to make any changes to Bauer’s pregame regimen which is unique to say the least.
Antonetti said, “We are not going to change him. We are going to work with him.” As for Stubbs, who played center field in Cincinnati, Antonetti said a decision on what outfield position he will play, will most likely be made before spring training.
Michael Brantley played center field last season for the Indians. As for the trade itself, Antonetti was asked if this deal was more of a risk or reward for the Cleveland Indians.
“I think it’s a combination of both. We gave up a good player in Shin-Soo Choo, a guy that has meant a lot to our team both on the field and in the clubhouse, but we feel we were able to reposition ourselves and get a number of guys that will not only impact this year’s team but our teams moving forward,” Antonetti said.
This was by far the biggest off season move yet for the Tribe and they may not be done wheeling and dealing. “We still have work to do. We feel yesterday was another step forward for us and our hope and our preference is to do some more this offseason,” said Antonetti.
Trade talks about Tuesday’s deal were loosely discussed at the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Nashville, TN a couple of weeks ago. The trade talks became more concrete over the weekend and on Tuesday morning, the parameters were put in place to make the trade official.