The potential of Drew Stubbs was there. A speedster on the base-paths, he had power, and he scored runs. However, the Reds weren’t looking for potential. At least, not after his numbers had generally regressed over a three-year period, instead of starting to improve.
As the Reds starting center fielder, his defense was strong, as his speed allowed him to cover ground quickly. He just didn’t fit in with the offense, as he struck out far more than a team would want from the top of the batting order. And Cincinnati desperately needed a leadoff hitter.
The trade sends right fielder Shin-Soo Choo of the Cleveland Indians and infielder Jason Donald with cash to the Reds, as Drew Stubbs went to Cleveland. Choo would have become a free-agent after this season.
The trade involved the Reds sending shortstop Didi Gregorius the way of the Diamondbacks. Gregorius hit .300 in twenty at-bats last season with the reds. Lefty-reliever Tony Sipp and first-baseman Lars Anderson of the Indians also went to Arizona.
Cleveland will also get a pair of right-handed relievers from Arizona in Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw. However, the biggest surprise in the trade came with Arizona sending right-hander Trevor Bauer to Cleveland as well.
Bauer was the Diamondbacks’ third overall pick in the 2011 draft, and the fifth ranked prospect.
For the Reds, Shin-Soo Choo was signed for a one-year deal, alluding to the win-now attitude of Cincinnati. Choo has been an underrated producer in the Majors during his career, as he brings a career .289/.381/.465 line with a 132 OPS-plus. He also bats left-handed, which will help the Reds balance out their line-up, along with fellow lefty power-hitters Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.
He presents the Cincinnati Reds with not only a solid leadoff hitter, but is also a strong defensive outfielder. He normally plays in right field, but will make the transition to center in place of Stubbs.
The trade largely addresses the needs of both Cleveland and Cincinnati, but it seems clear that Arizona is taking some risk with the trading of their best prospect.
Ohio should definitely be in good cheer this holiday season.