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Indians trade Shin-Soo Choo: Cleveland, Cincinnati both winners in deal

The Indians made out well in Tuesday night's deal, but so did the Reds.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

It will be years before we can tell who came out ahead in Tuesday night's trade between the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks, but the initial reactions are giving points to both the Indians and Reds at the expense of the Diamondbacks. The Indians acquired center fielder Drew Stubbs from Cincinnati, plus top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer and two relievers from Arizona; the Reds received Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald from Cleveland, while Arizona got shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius from Cincinnati and two other players from Cleveland. Over at Let's Go Tribe, SB Nation's Cleveland Indians blog, they also feel that the Indians and Reds came out on top.

The Reds came out winners here, as they filled a gigantic hole in their lineup without taking much away from their major-league roster. The Indians came out winners for the reasons detailed above. The Diamondbacks? I still don't understand (a) why Gregorius was the guy Towers wanted and (b) why he was willing to deal Bauer to get him. Kudos to Chris Antonetti for recognizing who Towers wanted and making things work so that the Indians still got the pitching they wanted even after the various Asdrubal Cabrera trades fizzled out.

(via Let's Go Tribe)

Bauer is the centerpiece of the deal for the Indians, and Ryan of Let's Go Tribe says that he has the "upside of an ace" who can start this season in the rotation if Cleveland chooses that path. He projects Bauer's upside at a total of 22-24 wins above replacement in his first six seasons in Cleveland, though he drops that number down to a more realistic 16-18 total WAR when accounting for injuries or any struggles or setbacks on the mound. Ryan notes that a pitcher of this caliber would only be available to the Indians through a trade or the draft, and that it was a "coup" for the Indians to get Bauer while only giving up Choo's final season with the team.

That said, he gives the nod in short-term value to the Reds, as Choo is expected to outperform both Stubbs and Bauer during the 2013 season. If Bauer pans out, though, Indians fans should end up being very happy about this deal.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.