Red Sox

Report: Indians send Trevor Bauer to Reds in trade, get Yasiel Puig

Report: Indians send Trevor Bauer to Reds in trade, get Yasiel Puig

Trevor Bauer was rumored to be headed for one of the Red Sox' American League rivals in a trade following his ball-tossing tantrum over the weekend.

Think again.

Bauer isn't going to the Astros or Yankees and he's staying in Ohio. ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that wild-card contending Cleveland (62-44) will send the right-hander, 28, who is 9-8 with a 3.79 ERA this season, to the Cincinnati Reds, who sit near the bottom of the National League Central in fourth place at 49-55. 

The trade is part of a three-way deal that will send slugger Yasiel Puig from the Reds to the Indians, who are in need of offense as they compete with the Red Sox and others for a wild-card spot.

Puig may be facing an MLB-imposed suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl with the Pirates on Tuesday night that was his last official act with the Reds. 

Multiple outlets have joined Passan in reporting the deal, including MLB Network's Mark Feinsand:

Bauer's volatility may have made the Yankees' shy away, according to USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale.

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MLB rumors: Yankees land Gerrit Cole with 9-year, $324 miillon deal

MLB rumors: Yankees land Gerrit Cole with 9-year, $324 miillon deal

The Boston Red Sox will get to see plenty of Gerrit Cole this season - in pinstripes.

The New York Yankees have landed the pitching prize of the offseason, agreeing to terms with the free-agent right-hander on a nine-year, $324 million contract, according to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network.

Cole, 29, went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, 326 strikeouts and 0.86 WHIP in 2019 for the Houston Astros, who lost in Game 7 of the World Series to the Washington Nationals. 

It was thought that Cole, a Southern California native who pitched at UCLA was looking to go to the West Coast, but the Yankees offer was apparently enough to lure him to the Bronx.

The addition of Cole fortifies a Yankee rotation that includes Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and Luis Severino and likely makes New York, which won 103 games but lost to Cole and the Astros in the 2019 ALCS, the World Series favorite. 

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Trading David Price would save Red Sox a ton of money, but not without meaningful risk

Trading David Price would save Red Sox a ton of money, but not without meaningful risk

SAN DIEGO -- The Red Sox could save a lot of money by moving on from David Price.

They could also blast a gaping hole in their rotation that precludes them from seriously contending in 2020.

Welcome to Chaim Bloom's nightmare.

Rumors have swirled for a week that the Red Sox would rather move the three years and $96 million remaining on Price's contract than trade former MVP Mookie Betts. Given Price's injury history -- he just started playing catch after September surgery to remove a cyst from his wrist -- it would be hard to blame them for attempting to get out from under as much of that salary as possible.

ESPN on Tuesday reported that multiple teams have targeted Price. The opinions of rival executives in the lobby at the Manchester Grand Hyatt for this week's winter meetings run the gamut. One believes the Red Sox could make taking Price a requirement in any deal for Betts, a la the 2012 mega-trade with the Dodgers that carved about $400 million off of Boston's books and allowed for the reset that led to a 2013 championship.

Another not in contact with the Red Sox believes they could move Price, keep Betts, and then entertain offers for the five-tool outfielder at the deadline in July if they're out of contention, noting that the Nationals missed an opportunity to make a similar move with Bryce Harper in 2018 before he walked in free agency.

And still another with a team interested in Betts and to a lesser extent Price expressed mild surprise that the Red Sox hadn't reached out as of Tuesday afternoon.

While trading Price seems like the right long-term move, it would come with considerable risk. There's a clear path to a World Series in 2020 if Betts stays, Price and Chris Sale regain their All-Star form, and Bloom makes some smart acquisitions for the right side of the infield. Jettisoning Price eliminates the possibility that he muddles through another injury-marred campaign, but it also removes a potential ace, and his spot would either be filled with a mid-level signing or (ugh) another opener.

For all his faults, particularly when it comes to clubhouse distractions like picking a fight with Dennis Eckersley, Price has been better than he gets credit for in Boston. He's 46-24 (.657) with a 3.84 ERA and in his 2016 debut, he led the AL with over 230 innings pitched. He was otherworldly in the 2018 postseason, shedding his reputation as a playoff choker once and for all.

Thus far it has been hard to read the direction of the front office under Bloom, who's still learning the organization and has remained tight-lipped in his dealings with the media. That said, after spending a couple of days around the team, it feels like the Red Sox have been forced into a reactive position where they're serving as Plan B for a number of clubs, particularly as it relates to Price.

Any team that misses out on one of the top-tier free agent starters could make a case that Price's upside outweighs concerns over his health. Premium starters, after all, remain a precious commodity. Zack Wheeler and Stephen Strasburg have already signed nine-figure deals, Gerrit Cole could soon earn $300 million, and Madison Bumgarner and Hyu-Jin Ryu will draw interest, too. Once they're gone, anyone shut out of that market could consider Price.

The Red Sox know this, which is why they signed Price to a $217 million deal in the first place. Though he has yet to make an All-Star team or earn a Cy Young vote in four seasons here, he has dominated a postseason run to a title, and ditching him in a salary dump has some serious come-back-and-bite-you potential.

That said, if they can find a taker without eating too much money, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't pull the trigger. This winter is all about saving money, and clearing Price's $32 million salary off the books is the most palatable way to do it.

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