Yup, that was a big one.
Three lineups shaken in one fell swoop, and that's before even factoring in the biggest piece in the deal, Trevor Bauer.
He's in Cincinnati now, which shouldn't greatly impact his value, but it may go down some. The NL is the better league for pitchers, sure, but the AL Central offered some cupcake matchups. And of course, he'll be pitching in a notoriously hitter-friendly park.
Of perhaps even greater importance in terms of changing the Fantasy landscape is who the Indians acquired. Yasiel Puig is the biggest name and the one coming directly over from the Reds, but the Padres' contribution of Franmil Reyes could lead to a chain reaction of events, all of them positive.
Before I go further, though, let's make sure we have the terms straight in what's obviously a complicated deal:
Per sources, the three-team deal looks like this:— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 31, 2019
Reds get Trevor Bauer (from CLE)
Padres get Taylor Trammell (from CIN)
Indians get Yasiel Puig, Scott Moss (from CIN), Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen, Victor Nova (from SD)
So yes, two new outfield starters in Cleveland, and offense is something the Indians have been lacking all year. It's gotten better recently with Oscar Mercado's arrival and Jose Ramirez's apparent return to form, but the introduction of two middle-of-the-order bats lengthens their lineup considerably and raises the value of Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana in at least some small way. All three are high on-base types (assuming Ramirez is indeed back), and now they have somebody -- or make it two somebodies -- who can actually drive them in.
Puig's value probably doesn't change too much. Most any move out of Great American Ball Park would be a downgrade, but Progressive Field isn't some pitcher's paradise. Of greater note is how drastically the 28-year-old has turned his season around, recovering from a miserable April and May to hit .327 (48 for 147) with 11 homers and a 1.015 OPS over his past 40 games. He shouldn't have any trouble meeting those 30-homer, 20-steal expectations many set for him at the start of the year, and more BABIP correction may still be to come.
Reyes, meanwhile, has established himself as one of the game's most prolific home run hitters after flashing an interesting skill set last year. He was getting squeezed in a situation where the Padres had too many corner infielders, sometimes forced to sit two or three times a week, but the Indians shouldn't have any trouble pushing Jake Bauers and Greg Allen aside. Perhaps with more consistent playing time, Reyes can become a less one-dimensional hitter, too. He didn't look like he'd be such a liability in batting average coming into the year.
Reyes' removal from the Padres' lineup frees up the corner outfield glut, granting Hunter Renfroe and presumably Wil Myers everyday duty. Renfroe may be an even better pure slugger than Reyes, albeit with lower batting average potential. You can expect another 15-20 homers from him the rest of the way. Myers has gotten plenty of time to reflect on his benching over the past month-plus, and while his strikeout rate remains a disaster, we've known him to be better than this. He at least becomes relevant in five-outfielder leagues again.
Puig's departure makes for some interesting possibilities in the Reds lineup as well. Manager David Bell has had to get creative to find at-bats for out-of-nowhere breakthrough Josh VanMeter over the past week, most often playing him in the outfield, and now it won't have to come at the expense of either Nick Senzel or Jesse Winker. Former first-round pick Phillip Ervin has also earned himself a longer look with a line-drive stroke that has led to a .357 batting average in part-time duty, but VanMeter is the big winner here. His near 1.100 OPS at Triple-A Louisville is looking less like a product of a juiced ball now that he's getting more extensive playing time, having homered twice over the weekend while demonstrating plus on-base skills.
As for the pitching side of this deal, again, it's most likely a net neutral for Bauer, who remains one of the few hurlers capable of ace production at a position trending increasingly toward specialization. One last consideration to note for him, though, is brought to you by our own Adam Aizer:
Huge trade sending Trevor Bauer to CIN. In case you're wondering, the CF wall is 1 foot closer in Great American Ballpark compared to Progressive Field. So this might be a park upgrade!— Adam Aizer (@AdamAizer) July 31, 2019
Actually I hate it for Bauer. Not sure any other manager lets him go 115+ pitches every start
Adam has been harping on Bauer's unusually high pitch counts for a while now, and since before he even broke into the big leagues in 2012, the right-hander has been known for doing things unconventionally, preparing for starts in a way that he thinks allows him to handle a bigger workload. He didn't last long in Arizona because of it, and it's possible Francona's lighter touch was a key to his success in Cleveland.
Of course, by now Bauer is established enough that any manager should be willing to concede to him, especially since hard-headedness is just an expected part of the package at this point. Still, it's worth bringing up.