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Phillies reportedly discuss Trevor Bauer deal with Indians

Per an MLB insider report this morning, the Phillies have discussed acquiring pitcher Trevor Bauer from the Cleveland Indians. (Erik Drost)

Per a report this morning from MLB insider Jon Morosi, the Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians have discussed parameters of a trade that would send starting pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Phillies.

Morosi based his report on what he called “sources“, the usual suspect when rumored discussions such as this are presented, particularly at the Winter Meetings and now, as the MLB trade deadline is approaching.

A deal for Bauer would seem to be a longshot, based on comments in recent days from Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, who seemed to be leaning towards a more conservative approach over the next week.

I feel like our organization has enough talent that we can bid on the top names on the market,” Klentak said per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Whether we choose to go down that road or not remains to be seen. It’s really about building an organization that can sustain its competitiveness for a long period of time. In order to do that, we have to preserve young talent. There are times when it makes sense to cash in young talent for veteran players. But you can’t do that too often or your well will run dry and you’ll be forced to tackle another rebuild at some point, and that’s not something that our owners or our front office have an appetite for.

Just days ago, I wrote a piece here at Phillies Nation in which I opined “There is no reasonable deal that you can expect at this deadline that will return enough to the Phillies that they should give up either of these two key pieces to their future. So, at this point, both Bohm and Howard would appear to be untouchable.

Would a package that does not include either of those young players be able to land you someone like Bauer, or any of the other top available arms such as Zack Greinke, Matthew Boyd, Robbie Ray or Marcus Stroman? Would including prospects such as Mickey Moniak or Adonis Medina, players such as Cesar Hernandez or Nick Williams, pitchers like Nick Pivetta get such a deal done? That remains to  be seen.

Bauer is a 28-year-old from California who was the Arizona Diamondbacks first round pick at third overall in the 2011 MLB Draft out of UCLA. He went to Cleveland as part of a three-team trade in December 2012 and has fashioned a career record of 68-54 with a 3.88 ERA, 3.87 FIP and 1.286 WHIP.

A first-time AL All-Star a year ago, Bauer finished sixth in the 2018 AL Cy Young Award voting. This season, the right-hander is 9-7 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.162 WHIP. He had allowed just 118 hits over 152.1 innings across 23 starts with a 179/59 K:BB ratio.

Some find Bauer’s training methods, social media practices, political positions and outspoken attitude to be controversial. Those issues were explored fully in a February 2019 piece titled “Trevor Bauer Is More Concerned With Being Right Than Being Liked” by Ben Reiter.

I always believed in my methods wholeheartedly, and that I would have success. Didn’t have any doubt at all. It’s mostly just a nice feeling, like: I did it my way—and f— you,” Bauer was quoted by Reiter.

Trevor Bauer would most certainly be entertaining. He would also be a boon to the Phillies starting pitching rotation. But he also will cost something. Just what that cost might be will be the rub, and not some perceived controversy regarding Twitter usage or politics.



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