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Former UCLA Pitcher Trevor Bauer Traded From Cleveland to Cincinnati

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The controversial right-hander was dealt on the eve of today’s MLB Trade Deadline in a three-team blockbuster.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps it’s fitting that Trevor Bauer, one of the MLB’s most controversial pitchers, was flipped for Yasiel Puig, one of the MLB’s most controversial position players. Take, for example, each of their last appearances with their now-former ball clubs.

On Sunday night, Bauer was battered by the Kansas City Royals, allowing 7 runs in 4+ innings before being pulled by Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona. As Francona marched to the pitcher’s mound to replace him, a visibly frustrated Bauer hurled the baseball clear over the center field fence.

Two nights later, Puig threw himself in the middle of a bench-clearing brawl between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates.

In the days leading up to today’s MLB Trade Deadline, Bauer had been heavily involved in trade rumors, but it was ultimately Cincinnati who pulled the trigger on the right-hander. Bauer, who pitched for the Bruins from 2009 to 2011, rewrote the record books while in Westwood. He set school records for wins (37), strikeouts (460), and innings pitched (37313), while also becoming the first Bruin to ever win the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the best amateur pitcher in the country. Taken third overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2011 MLB Draft, Bauer was soon traded to Cleveland, where he spent seven seasons before being dealt last night.

Despite posting a 12-6 record, a 2.21 ERA, and 221 strikeouts last season, Bauer regressed this year, his record dipping to 9-8 and his ERA ballooning to 3.79. Considering Cleveland’s strength at the position—their team ERA is 3.74, fourth in the Major Leagues—as well as Bauer’s impending arbitration this winter, trading the right-hander to shore up their offense in their division race against the Minnesota Twins makes sense.

Here are the full details of the trade, which also involves the San Diego Padres:

The Cleveland Indians receive: Yasiel Puig (CIN), Scott Moss (CIN), Franmil Reyes (SD), Logan Allen (SD), and Victor Nova (SD)

The Cincinnati Reds receive: Trevor Bauer (CLE)

The San Diego Padres receive: Taylor Trammell (CIN)

For San Diego and Cincinnati, who both sit several games below .500, the trade is geared toward the future, with Cincinnati ultimately hoping to sign Bauer long-term in the offseason. For Cleveland, who are receiving two big bats in Puig (22 HR, 61 RBI) and Reyes (27 HR, 46 RBI), this is more than a move to leapfrog Minnesota in the standings. It’s a move designed to get them back to the World Series—to end a championship drought that’s lasted since 1947.

Too bad Bauer won’t be a part of it.