On Tuesday, the Indians traded the mercurial right-hander to Cincinnati in a three-team deal with San Diego that brings outfielders Yasiel Puig, Franmil Reyes and left-handed pitcher Logan Allen to Cleveland, according to reports. The Indians are also getting lefty starter Scott Moss from the Reds and minor-league third baseman Victor Nova from the Padres.
Bauer, 28, was thought by some to be a favorite for the American League Cy Young Award prior to the start of the season, but has had an inconsistent showing with a 9-8 record and a 3.79 ERA in 24 starts for the Tribe. The center of trade rumors since baseball’s winter meetings in December, Bauer still managed to lead the AL in innings and was fourth in strikeouts at the time of the trade, which was first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
On Sunday, after giving up five runs in a fifth-inning meltdown against Kansas City, a frustrated Bauer whirled and launched a baseball out of the over the batter’s eye and out of the ballpark before manager Terry Francona removed him from the game.
Bauer apologized to his teammates and to fans after the game. Francona reserved comment on the matter, saying only that the two had a conversation about the incident.
The deal has not yet been confirmed by the Indians, who lost to Houston, 2-0 at Progressive Field on Tuesday. According to Passan, Reds outfield prospect Taylor Trammell will go to San Diego.
In 94 games with the Reds, Puig hit .255 with 22 home runs and 60 RBI. He slugged .480 with a .785 OPS and 13 steals. His home run total equals Carlos Santana’s team high for the Indians and his 60 RBI are more than any Tribe player.
Puig joined Cincinnati in a December blockbuster deal that also sent Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer and Alex Wood to the Reds while L.A. got Homer Bailey and a pair of minor leaguers. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.
The fiery right fielder has a history of on-field dustups with opponents and odd behavior in the clubhouse. Since joining the Reds, Puig was at the center of an epic brawl with Pittsburgh, sparked when Pirates pitcher Chris Archer plunked Cincinnati infielder Derek Dietrich.
Puig was ejected from four games in six seasons with the Dodgers. He has already been ejected from three games in 2019, including twice against Pittsburgh. On Tuesday, minutes after news of the trade broke, Puig was ejected from Cincinnati’s game against the Pirates at Great American Ballpark following a brawl sparked by reliever Amir Garrett.
Reyes, 24, hit .253 in 98 games with the Padres, including a .847 OPS and 27 home runs. He batted .280 as a rookie last year, clubbing 16 homers and driving in 31 in 87 games.
The 6-foot-5 Dominican native has played mostly right field for San Diego. He is not eligible for arbitration until 2022 and is under team control until free agency in 2025.
Allen, 22, is 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts (eight appearances) for San Diego. He’s struck out 14 and walked 13, allowing four home runs. In 13 starts for Triple-A El Paso, Allen was 4-3 with a 5.15 ERA and 63 strikeouts over 57 1/3 innings.
Moss, 24, is 6-5 with a 3.44 ERA in 20 starts for Double-A Chattanooga this season. The 6-foot-5 lefty was a fourth-round pick of the Reds in 2016 out of Florida. He was named a Midwest League All-Star in 2017 after going 13-6 for the Dayton Dragons and posted a 15-4 mark in 2018 in Daytona. He made the Texas League All-Star squad this year with Chattanooga.
Nova, 19, is hitting .330 with a .871 OPS in 26 games for the Padres’ Arizona Rookie League team in Peoria.