Do we know enough about the Trevor Bauer trade?
Continuing my week-long (at least!) series of essays inspired by Joe Sheehan's recent newsletter flood, here's what grabbed my noodle when reading his take on the Diamondbacks:
So out goes Miguel Montero and the last three years of a five-year contract extension that kicked in right as his bat went limp. Out goes Wade Miley just as they can't pay him the minimum any longer. Out goes Didi Gregorius, clearing shortstop for Chris Owings and sending away a reminder of the terrible Trevor Bauer trade. You have to think 33-year-old Aaron Hill, signed through 2016, will be shopped. The Diamondbacks are starting over around Paul Goldschmidt, with Archie Bradley and Yasmany Tomas hopefully the secondary pieces around him.
As you'll recall, Bauer was quite the story a few years ago in spring training, when he was still with the Diamondbacks. But Bauer reportedly didn't get on well with catcher Montero, and had his own way of doing things. So out he went ... in a really complicated trade involving three teams and nine players. But from the D'backs' perspective, they traded Bauer (along with Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw) to the Indians, and received Didi Gregorius (from the Reds) and Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson (from the Indians).
In the event, only Bauer and Gregorius have been worth much since. But we can hardly evaluate the trade yet, since a) Bauer's pitched only 170 innings in the majors since then, while b) the D'backs just traded Gregorius for two young players, Detroit's Robbie Ray and Domingo Leyba.
Granted, at this rate we might still be weighing the values in 20 years, as traded players get traded for more players. But the real questions here are these:
1. Will Bauer become a good major-league starter? He sure looked like one in the second half of last season. If he does, there's almost no way this deal doesn't look lousy for the Diamondbacks (and great for the Indians). Except...
2. What about Leyba, who was only 18 last summer but looked great in A-ball? What if the Diamondbacks get two decent seasons from Gregorius -- which has already happened -- and six good seasons from Leyba, someday.
I didn't like the deal when it happened, because I thought the Diamondbacks were trading Bauer for the wrong reasons. But given enough time, it might work out wonderfully for them.