By Paul Hoynes, cleveland.com | Posted December 15, 2018 at 06:52 PM | Updated December 15, 2018 at 08:01 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Do you have a question that you’d like to have answered in Hey, Hoynsie? Submit it here or contact him on Twitter at @hoynsie
Yandy Diaz. (Jim Cowsert, Associated Press)
How did Yandy Diaz end up with the Rays?
Hey, Hoynsie: Do you have any insight as to why Yandy Diaz was traded to Tampa Bay as part of Thursday’s three-team deal with the Indians, Rays and Seattle? It doesn’t seem logical. — Glen Ray.
Hey, Ray: The Indians acquired Jake Bauers from the Rays for Diaz. He’s an outfielder-first baseman that they’ve liked for a while. The Rays, on the other hand, have had Diaz on their radar for a while as well.
The Tribe originally had traditional two-team deals worked out with Tampa Bay and Seattle. They were going to send Diaz to the Rays for Bauers and Encarnacion to the Mariners for Carlos Santana. But it became a three-team deal to help pay the cost of Santana and Encarnacion’s contracts.
The Rays sent Seattle $5 million to help pay for Encarnacion’s contract, while the Mariners sent the Indians $6 million to help pay Santana’s contract.
Bauers is younger than Diaz (23-27) and has shown more pop in the big leagues (11 homers to 1). The fact that he can play first base and left or right field also worked in Bauers’ favor.
Corey Kluber. (LM Otero, Associated Press)
Must Indians trade Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer to get big hitter?
Hey, Hoynsie: I’m OK with the Indians’ payroll juggle and bringing Carlos Santana back. But the only way I see that they get past Houston and the other top teams to reach the World Series is to trade a starting pitcher for a big outfield bat. Does the Indians’ front office have the drive to go get a game changer on the offensive side? — James Lisi, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Hey, James: They’re probably sitting on the blueprint for just such a deal right now. But the fact of the matter is they’ve saved about $21 million for 2019 with the trades they’ve made. That may allow them to keep the rotation intact — at least for one more year — and add offense through free agency or another trade.
Edwin Encarnacion. (Orlin Wagner, Associated Press)