Bauers went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and five RBI during Wednesday's spring game against the Royals. Bauers has struck out 10 times in 29 at-bats thus far in spring but came up huge for the Indians on Wednesday. The 23-year-old should see regular time in Cleveland this season between first base, the outfield and designated hitter after being acquired from Tampa Bay in December. Bauers slashed .201/.316/.384 with 11 home runs in 96 games with the Rays last season.
The Rays traded Bauers to Cleveland on Thursday as part of a three-team deal with the Mariners, Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times reports. The Rays will receive Yandy Diaz and a player to be named later in the swap. In addition, the Mariners will get Edwin Encarnacion, while the Indians acquire Carlos Santana in the trade, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It's unclear where exactly Bauers will fit in with the Indians, though a future in the outfield could be more likely than at first base, especially now that Santana is on the roster. Across 96 games with Tampa Bay this past season, Bauers hit .201/.316/.384 with 11 home runs, 48 RBI and six stolen bases.
General manager Erik Neander said Bauers is "our guy" at first base heading into 2019, Juan Toribio of The Athletic reports. Neander added that the Rays will look at all options -- which could mean bringing in a righty-swinging first baseman -- but it sounds like Bauers will at least handle the larger side of a platoon at first base in his sophomore season. The 23-year-old's rookie campaign was marred by a brutal slump in summer, and he finished with a disappointing .201/.316/.384 line in 96 games. He'll look to use his experience against major-league pitching to improve in 2019.
Bauers went 3-for-3 with a two-run ground-rule double, a walk and two runs in a win over the Blue Jays on Sunday. It was a positive finish to an up-and-down rookie campaign for Bauers, who slashed a forgettable .153/.269/.291 after the All-Star break. Bauers managed to coax his average over the Mendoza Line with Sunday's season-ending effort, and he'll look to parlay his experience against big-league pitching this season into stronger numbers in 2019.
Bauers is out of the lineup for Saturday's game against the Blue Jays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Bauers heads to the bench after starting five of the last six games and going 2-for-21 in 22 plate appearances. C.J. Cron will grab the start at first base and will bat cleanup as Bauers' second-half struggles continue.
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