Cleveland Indians Finally Trade From Jake Bauers, Commit To Bobby Bradley
On Thursday, the Cleveland Indians finally made the move that many had been hoping they would make for months by trading struggling first baseman Jake Bauers. This comes after they had previously designated Bauers for assignment and called up potential future star Bobby Bradley.
Jake Bauers Traded
Bauers had long been the subject of the anger of many fans, myself included, for his poor performance at the plate. A trend that has not just shown itself this year but really since the Indians acquired Bauers from the Rays in 2018 hitting just .218 since being with the team.
The move to acquire Bauers ahead of the 2019 season was controversial. With the Indians having just come off another AL Central Division title in 2018 (their third consecutive), trading away superstar Edwin Encarnacion and potential emerging star Yandy Diaz to cut payroll was trivial.
Although Diaz has had his up and down moments in Tampa Bay no one could make the argument that the Indians were better served with Bauers at first base.
This lead to the start of an almost complete restructuring of a team that had just been to the World Series only two years prior, and fans rightfully bemoaning owner Paul Dolan for not being willing to spend the money to stay competitive in the American League.
In the years that followed fans would see nearly all of the key players from the 2016 World Series team traded including; Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger, Trevor Bauer, Gio Urshela, and most recently Francisco Lindor.
While the Bauers trade really wasn’t an absolute loss for the Indians as far as productivity it definitely didn’t pan out the way Bauers or the team wanted it despite being given every opportunity.
Out With The Old, In With The New: Bobby Bradley
That brings us to Bobby Bradley, who first made his debut in 2019 and struggled in just 45 plate appearances over 15 games.
The power has never been the problem for Bradley as he has mashed over 150 career homers in the minor leagues. In fact it is this raw power that excited so many fans in 2019 when Bradley was called up. I was at the game when he hit his first major league homer; a laserbeam that ricocheted off the facing of the second deck next to the Corner Bar.
However, the problem with Bradley has never been if he can hit for power but if at times he can simply hit anything that isn’t straight. During his brief stint with the big league club it seemed at times that curveballs would simply bewilder Bradley at the plate leading to massive strikeout numbers.
This spring that all seemed to change though, Bradley showed up to camp as the Indians perennial “best shape of his life” candidate and raked showing that he deserved to be on the Major League roster.
Because of Jake Bauers’s lack of options though, Bradley did not make the Opening Day roster and instead was sent back to Triple A where he continued the hot start from the spring. Even since his call up a few days ago Bradley is hitting .400 with 2 doubles and a homer once again showcasing the raw power, all things considered if this is the season Bradley puts it all together he could help propel the Indians into the playoffs.
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