The Indians and the D-backs have discussed the framework of a deal that centers around Tribe shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and Arizona right-hander Trevor Bauer, an industry source said early Wednesday.
The two clubs have been in talks about the potential deal for two weeks, and it appears those talks have escalated at the Winter Meetings, though the source did not say whether a deal is near completion...But the industry source confirmed that Bauer has been a key piece in the Cabrera discussions.
Word surfaced this morning of a potential four-team blockbuster involving the Indians and D'Backs, with the Rangers and Rays making up the other two parties. As any trade with more than two teams tends to get overly complicated, a Cabrera/Bauer swap may be a simpler way for the two sides to meet their needs.
The D'Backs have been on the hunt for a shortstop since the offseason began, floating outfielders Justin Upton and Jason Kubel as potential trade pieces to land a new shortstop. The Indians have been on a similar search for starting pitching help as the club looks to rebuild, shopping outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in addition to Cabrera.
The 21-year-old Bauer thrived in his first full season of professional ball, posting a 2.42 ERA and striking out 10.8 per nine in 130⅓ innings across Double- and Triple-A. The right-hander's success earned him a big-league cup of coffee at midseason, where Bauer struggled in four starts -- 6.06 ERA and 7.2 BB/9 in 16⅓ -- before being sent back to Triple-A.
Cabrera, 27, has put together two-consecutive All-Star seasons at shortstop for the Indians, hitting .272/.335/.443 with 41 home runs in that span.