The winter of our growing discontent feels like it became a little bit colder tonight, as various sources from the Twittersphere are reporting tonight that the Reds, Diamondbacks, and Indians have agreed on a monster three-way, 10-player trade involving the following players:
To CLE: RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Matt Albers, and RHP Bryan Shaw (from ARI), and OF Drew Stubbs (from CIN)
To ARI: SS Didi Gregorius (from CIN), and LHP Tony Sipp and 1B Lars Anderson (from CLE)
To CIN: OF Shin-Soo Choo and UTIL Jason Donald (from CLE)
Bauer entered the 2012 season as one of the 10-15 best prospects in the game, and is, in effect, being moved along with a couple of middle relievers in exchange for a seemingly busted first base prospect, a left-handed middle reliever, and Gregorius, whom Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers reportedly covets despite the scouting perception that he profiles more as a utility player or a second-division starter at shortstop. This is, of course, a world full of imperfect information, and it may be that the Diamondbacks know something about Bauer which has compelled them to move him for a seemingly light return, but this just feels like another trade where, based on the information available to us, you wish the Rangers could have somehow managed to worm their way into the picture.
The problem, though, is that the window of opportunity has shut on Trevor Bauer, and may have already slammed shut on Justin Upton, as a proposed three-team deal involving the Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Indians reportedly fell apart last week and hasn't shown any recent signs of revival. Arizona does still need long-term help at third base, and has a little less pitching depth today than it did yesterday with Bauer's exit, and, from that standpoint, you can still hope that there's some basis for the two clubs hooking up on an Upton deal revolving around Mike Olt and either Martin Perez or Derek Holland (yes, the latter is definitely more valuable than the former) ... but, at this point, that isn't a deal I feel too confident in actualizing, particularly now that Arizona has plugged one major hole and now seems to be feeling less pressure to rashly pull the trigger on a trade sending Upton out of state.
And if Upton is off the table, one has to imagine that the next course of action for the Rangers involves turning to a backup off-season plan centered around Josh Hamilton -- unless it doesn't. Regardless, though, this hasn't materialized into a very satisfying off-season for the Rangers as of yet, and whether it's fair to the Rangers' front office or not, the vocalized discontent of the masses is about to get even louder.