The Major League Baseball trade deadline is roughly a month and a half away, but trade season appears to have started in earnest with the Seattle Mariners shipping Jay Bruce to the Philadelphia Phillies. While the trades won’t exactly come fast and furious from this point on, it is essentially a starting gun for a trade deadline that looks like a potential buyer’s market given the number of teams that will probably be willing to make players available.
Who will be on the move? Here are ten names to watch leading up to July 31.
10. Trevor Bauer, P, Indians
Bauer was perhaps surprisingly floated in trade talks during the offseason, but Cleveland ultimately opted to keep him while they make another run at a division title. That run has not gone well so far, with the Indians falling well behind the runaway Minnesota Twins. In Bauer’s case, again, it’s likely that things will have to get worse over the next month and a half for them to trade him. The Indians still want to try to get back into wild card contention, at the very least. However, if they floated the possibility of trading him once, they may float it again if circumstances dictate.
Trevor Bauer is as active on social media as any professional athlete in any sports league, so it goes without saying that the Cleveland Indians pitcher has experienced the downside of it on many occasions. Following his rough outing on Monday, Bauer wanted to call attention to some of that.
After he gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits in a loss to the Chicago White Sox, Bauer took to Twitter to share some of the death threats and hateful messages he received from angry fans. While the commentary is too vulgar to feature, here is a sampling:
“Bro u are the biggest p—y I ever seen. How do u let white sox smack the s— out of u. F—ing f–.”
“Leave the f—ing team and die in hell piece of s—. I really hope you and your family die in a car crash. Please f—ing die.”
“Could you please kill yourself?”
“I am Chinese. I will kill you.”
Bauer shared the screenshots with a message from him that said “stop online harassment, bullying and hate speech.” He also criticized Instagram for not providing an easy way to report those messages.
@instagram your platform doesn’t seem to give me a way to report this crap. Do you condone this type of behavior on your platform?
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) May 7, 2019
Bauer has become an expert at trolling fans on social media, but there is obviously a huge difference between friendly banter, death threats and hate speech. Unfortunately, all three seem to be equally used on social media.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer did not seem impressed with how the Atlanta Braves approached him in Saturday’s game, and one of their key players is responding.
Bauer said it “didn’t seem like [the Braves] wanted to hit” after Atlanta took a patient, grinding approach in Saturday’s game, elevating the Cleveland right-hander’s pitch count early on. Bauer allowed only three hits in 6 1/3 innings, but needed 120 pitches to do so. Atlanta’s approach was rewarded, as they came back against the Cleveland bullpen in an 8-7 victory.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman didn’t understand what Bauer’s point was, and defended his team’s approach.
“We heard that,” Freeman said, via Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. “It makes no sense. I don’t think he even knows what he was saying. It’s 40 degrees out. He’s a good pitcher, and we’re going to try to work you. I think we’re [usually] one of the most free-swinging teams there is. I think that comment is just … he hasn’t done his research.”
Bauer’s comments don’t make a lot of sense. It’s a perfectly valid approach to work a starter and try to drive up his pitch count and force an early exit, and that’s what Atlanta did. This is also a guy who isn’t shy about being critical of his peers, so it perhaps isn’t a surprise. Bauer will certainly be unhappy he couldn’t pitch deeper into the game to help his team win, but he can’t blame the Braves for approaching things the way they did.
Trevor Bauer put together another impressive outing for the Cleveland Indians, though he may not be too happy over the way things unfolded.
Bauer held the Toronto Blue Jays hitless through seven innings on Thursday night. However, he walked six, hit a batter, struck out eight, and left due to an elevated pitch count (117). He was replaced by Jon Edwards in the eighth inning.
Bauer is a workhorse pitcher who has wanted to pitch on three days’ rest rather than four and is not bothered by pitch counts. This is what he trains for. But the Indians probably wanted to show restraint in only his second start of the season.
Through two starts — each of seven innings — Bauer has only allowed one hit and one run this season while striking out 17. He may be on his way to the Cy Young Award he has long coveted.
As for the Jays, this is their second time this season being no-hit by a starter. Rebuilding has its consequences.
Trevor Bauer once again used his Twitter account to protest something written by Cleveland Indians reporter Paul Hoynes.
The Indians announced on Saturday that Corey Kluber would start Opening Day while Bauer would follow him in the rotation. In his opening sentence for a story on the matter, Hoynes said on Cleveland.com that Bauer was “not happy” about Kluber getting the nod.
Bauer disputed that characterization and let it be known via Twitter.
You’re extremely dishonest Paul. For everyone else out there who wants the real story instead of this desperate clickbait BS, I’m not mad at all about Klubes pitching opening day. I’m happy for him. He 100% deserves it. https://t.co/WcyxoQdqPC
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) March 24, 2019
Indians manager Terry Francona was quoted as saying Bauer might be “a little cranky” over the decision, but acknowledged that they couldn’t go wrong choosing between the two pitchers.
Though Bauer was better than Kluber by most statistical measures last season, the Opening Day honor often goes to a pitcher with a more proven history when there is a doubt. If Bauer repeats his performance from 2018 and out-pitches Kluber this season, he’ll probably have earned the 2020 nod. For now, you can’t really argue with choosing a pitcher who has won two Cy Youngs and has five straight 200-plus inning/200-plus strikeout seasons. And you also can’t argue with an athlete so competitive that he wants to earn the highest honors in his sport.
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The Cleveland Indians seem unlikely to deal one of their top starting pitchers now that the start of the MLB regular season is less than two weeks ago, but that hasn’t stopped the San Diego Padres from trying.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic, the Padres and Indians continue to have discussions about possible trades involving Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. However, a trade before Opening Day remains unlikely due to Cleveland’s asking price.
#Padres in continued discussions with #Indians on starting pitching, sources tell me and @dennistlin. Interest primarily in Bauer or Kluber, but asking price – while lower than before – remains beyond SD’s comfort level. Trade not close, unlikely to occur before Opening Day.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 18, 2019
San Diego and Cleveland have been having serious discussions since at least back in December, but reports have indicated the Indians are asking for a massive haul of prospects if they deal either of their top pitchers. That certainly makes sense for Kluber, who is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and owed just over $52 million total over the next three seasons. Bauer, who also had an outstanding season last year, is just 28 and has two more seasons of arbitration left.
The Indians have had serious talks about Kluber and Bauer with at least one other team, but we’re probably too deep into the offseason for something to happen. Depending on how Cleveland does over the first half of the season, Kluber and Bauer could be shopped again at the trade deadline.
San Diego Padres fans aren’t the only ones happy to know Manny Machado will be wearing a Padres uniform for the foreseeable future.
Machado signing a massive 10-year contract with the Padres was met with joy in southern California. American League pitchers that faced Machado on a regular basis were likely pleased as well that he will now be moving to the National League. Included in that group is Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 23, 2019
One look at Machado’s career numbers versus Bauer and it’s easy to understand why Bauer would be ecstatic to face Machado fewer times. In 18 plate appearances, Machado is hitting .643/.722/1.643 with nine hits, two doubles, four home runs, and four walks against Bauer. I’d be happy if someone who had the much success against me was switching leagues too.