The Indians have designated first baseman Jake Bauers for assignment, the team announced. Right-hander Eli Morgan has also been optioned to Triple-A, while first baseman Bobby Bradley has been called up to Cleveland’s roster and righty Blake Parker has had his contract selected.
Today’s news could mark the end of Bauers’ star-crossed tenure in Cleveland. A top-100 prospect during his time in the Rays’ farm system, Bauers came to the Tribe as part of a major three-team swap involving the Rays and Mariners in December 2018. The deal brought Carlos Santana back to Cleveland as veteran reinforcement for the Indians’ lineup, and Bauers was supposed to be a young building block, though he hasn’t delivered on that promise.
Over 160 games and 536 plate appearances with the Tribe, Bauers has hit only .218/.305/.352 with 14 home runs, delivering below replacement-level (-0.8 fWAR) production. This playing time came during the 2019 and 2021 seasons, as Bauers was at Cleveland’s alternate training site in 2020 but never received a call-up to the big league club. Bauers is out of options, so it’s possible another team might make a waiver claim on a player who is still only 25 and not that far removed from his prospect heyday.
With Bauers struggling so mightily, Tribe fans have spent pretty much all season wondering why Bradley wasn’t being given a shot on the MLB roster. Bradley had a big Spring Training but has not hit overly well (aside from the power department) at Triple-A this season, with a .196/.266/.485 slash line and nine homers in 109 PA.
Bradley doesn’t bring much versatility as a first base-only player, but with the Indians in desperate need of some extra offense, the decision was finally made to part ways with Bauers and give Bradley another opportunity in the Show. Bradley received some top-100 prospect attention himself prior to the 2016-17 seasons, and he has hit .251/.339/.503 with 156 homers in 2865 minor league plate appearances since being selected in the third round of the 2014 draft. Bradley’s only MLB exposure came in 2019, when he posted a .600 OPS over 49 PA.
Parker signed a minor league deal with the Indians in the offseason, and with just one official appearance, Parker will make it seven different teams over parts of nine MLB seasons. The right-hander (who turns 36 on June 19) most recently pitched for the Phillies in 2020, recording a 2.81 ERA and a huge 36.2% strikeout rate over 16 innings, albeit with an also-hefty 13% walk rate. Parker has maintained a solid 27.7% strikeout rate over his career, though home runs have been a persistent issue for the veteran.
Jake Bauers fell so hard
Difficult to fall hard when he never ascended in the first place.
Can you fall up because his “career” was about as low as a cesspool.
Well, he was a good prospect. I guess you can say he fell from that status. Still young enough to turn it around someday though.
The fault lies at Chris Antonetti and Terry Franconas feet. “Out of options” was the reason they kept him at the end of spring training.
They wasted 2 months of the season with awful stats at 1B.
They could have simply cut him at the end of spring training and used the “Out of talent” excuse.
I’m not sold on Bradley…I would prefer Naylor play first, but I am happy to finally see Bauers leave. I wish him well, maybe he can figure it out somewhere else. He was obviously not going to figure it out in Cleveland.
I have to agree. Bradley is just a different version of Bauers at this point, so aside from the occasional bomb, I’m not expecting this to be any kind of an upgrade. If CLE wants to get serious about plugging that hole at 1B, they need to approach COL about Greg Bird or CJ Cron.
Has Greg Bird even played a game this season?
FredMcGriff for the HOF
@1600. Bird has only played in AAA for the Rockies and it hasn’t been a good showing.
Bird is no better than Bauers.
And older than Bauers and Bradley
Bradley hasn’t really had much of an opportunity at the big league level yet, and he has succeeded at the minor league level (I don’t expect a high average from a power hitting first baseman). Bauers was mediocre in the minors and terrible in the majors. I think it will be an upgrade (can’t get much lower than Bauers), but the question will be how much of one. I’ll also take a pass on Bird and Cron. If not Bradley, then I’d rather see Naylor as their everyday first baseman – maybe give Zimmer a chance at some consistent playing time (that’s a guy I’m not sold on) or give Daniel Johnson an extended look.
I think they need to give Bradley a chance and see if he can play. If I had to bet my house on it I’d agree Naylor is probably the best choice there.
Thank you baseball Gods for booting Bauers. You are noble and just Gods.
Now to watch Bradley strike out twice a game. This anemic lineup is tough to watch. They should’ve sent Miller down before they do irreparable damage to him.
Right now, at least, Miller is totally overmatched.
Who do you bring up in his place? Our AAA “hitters” aren’t hitting
Daniel Johnson. I know he’s struggling right now, but he has proven in the past he has the ability to hit. May as well see what he’s got, giving him consistent at bats. If you are willing to take a chance on Bauers, who has never shown the ability to hit (each year he climbed the ranks, he got worse and worse), why not take a chance on players with actual promise?
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Looks like the Rays won the trade (Yandy Diaz) that sent Bauers to the Indians. They also did pretty well prying Meadows/Glasnow from the Pirates. They also managed to get Shane Baz in that heist who’s about to turn 22 years old and is having a nice season in AA. Arozerena and Wendle also come to mind as nice trades for the Rays. If I were a GM I wouldn’t want to trade with the Rays. The Rays aren’t even my favorite team but it’s hard not too admire what they are doing and on a limited payroll.
That Baseball Fan
Exception: The Padres should trade with the Rays at every opportunity.
Evidence? Cronenworth was a good pick-up, I agree, but have you seen the Rays’ depth chart including minor league players for the middle-infield slots? Xavier Edwards has not come into play yet (a couple years away), so that trade is really not one that can be fairly judged yet. I am a big Pham fan, but he had worn out his welcome. Heck, even the Snell trade cannot yet be judged either way.
You obviously like to be the contrarian, which is cool. But a bit more critical analysis may show that your conclusion is a bit oversimplified. And further makes me wonder how people get the TR badge…some of the best commenters on here lack one, and some of the silliest claims come from people who have the badge. Whatever works, I guess.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
@sideline. I believe the TR badge only means that the commenter has paid MLBTR the monthly subscription but I could be wrong about that.
Isn’t like a quarter of the Padres roster ex-Rays? And most of those players are good players. Why you hating on Padres fan for liking players that you use to cheer for? I’m a Rays fan and I hope Willy Adames does great things with the Brewers. As I still root many ex-Rays.
Quarter of Cleveland’s roster too.
I think the Rays must have dark secrets on each general manager to blackmail them because I don’t know how they pull off their trades. How did they ever get Glasnow for instance?! And why did the Indians never give the Yandy Diaz a chance? An OBP of .400 is pretty great even if he doesn’t hit for power.
Or maybe they’re just better at scouting and exploiting the latest market inefficiencies.
They did give Yandy a chance. They gave him the third base job and he did nothing so it was then given to Jose who never gave it back. Still sucks to see him develop elsewhere while Bauers has floundered.
Exactly, given ample time to show himself, look like Tarzan hit like Jane. Had he tinkered with his swing to where it is now he’d never Haven been dealt.
Either spies or just great scouting with even better coaching. If the Rays wanted players in my organization who aren’t producing, I’d wonder what they see we don’t.
The trade wasn’t Diaz for Bauers. It was a three way trade that also sent Carlos Santana to Cleveland and money to help pay his salary.
Santana won a Silver Slugger that year.
Yes, the million sent to Cleveland also sweetened the pot.
Millions, I believe it was $5mil
Let’s not act like the Indians aren’t savvy when it comes to trades themselves. I’d say trading Trevor Bauer has worked out well for them seeing as he was never destined to resign there. Franmil Reyes is one of only a handful of guys who can hit in their lineup. Jury is still out on the Clevinger trade, but you’d have to think it favors the tribe. Clevinger can’t stay healthy, and Josh Naylor, albeit not quite as fast as I hoped, is still developing. Quantrill looks like he’s going to anchor down a spot in the rotation, and Cleveland has a penchant for developing arms. The headliner in that trade though, Gabriel Arias just entered the top 100 prospect list on MLB. Won’t be long before he gets a call. Hell, even the Lindor trade doesn’t look as bad as initially thought with Rosario starting to put it together. Probably be better situated to judge that trade when the two younger guys, Josh Wolf and Isiah Greene start to make an impact. Both of those guys went in the second round of the draft last year, so they have the talent. Flipping Kluber for Clase looks genius right now. These are just some of the Indians recent trades. Cleveland gets the juice from their squeeze. So I don’t think it’s fair to imply the Indians get fleeced more often then they do the fleecing themselves.
exactly. people are quick to hit the Tribe when a guy does well after they jettison them, but rarely do they get credit for being consistent playoff contenders on a small payroll.
Arias hasn’t shown well at Columbus. Won’t surprise me if Tyler Freeman passes him by.
Still early in the season. Scouts think highly enough of him to move him into top 100. Arias I mean. Not that, that means much. I’d actually argue that Freeman was the more highly touted guy even prior to the trade. Though I think he translates to a 2nd baseman more so then a SS. Either way, the middle of the infield for the tribe in the ranks below is chock full of highly touted guys. Easily the best within the bigs in terms of sheer talent in quantity.
I think freeman moves to second and arias moves to third.
Go get him Bucs. With Craig DFAd and Mason Martin still far away, Colin Moran is the only 1B on the 40 man roster. With the possibility of the DH coming back to the NL next year, this could be a decent pickup.
First though was exactly this. Welcome to the Burgh, Jake.
When will teams learn to stop trading with the Rays.
Cleveland hits on as many trades as TB, but you can’t win them all.
People forget that this was a larger trade.. Indians sent Encarnacion, Yandy, Sulser, and a competitive balance pick for Bauers, Carlos Santana, and $5 million, I believe.. I’m not saying the Indians “won” the deal.. but they did quite well to get rid of EE’s contract before he collapsed and they got two solid years out of Santana.
Saw Bauers a few times when he played in AAA Durham. Never saw anything special about him, figured he’d end up being a backup 1B, DH, corner OF at best. Now he might not even become that. Dude should just go to Korea and try to get paid while he still can…
When the Indians first traded for him, I looked at his stats and wondered what they saw in him. Terrible showing for the Rays and mediocre in the minors. At this point, I don’t think he belongs on an MLB bench or as a starter in MiLB. I don’t get what anyone was seeing in him to be afraid to lose him.
Wilmer Flores' Tears
I can offer three thoughts, two prayers, and perhaps a condolence (two at most) to young Jacob Bauers. On one hand, he gets out of an awful city in Cleveland, but on the other hand it’s not like he’ll do better anywhere else.
F$&@ off with that “awful city” comment you clown.
Wilmer Flores' Tears
I didn’t say it was the worst city, but it’s ONE of the worst. Oakland is by far the worst — anecdotally and statistically — but Cleveland is right behind it.
Don’t get offended. Just move somewhere better!
Dude I can run off more then what you consider worst cities but you named Oakland so I assume your from California! Cleveland is a small market team as well as Oakland but I can name off probably the entire state of Cali and NY that have way and I mean way worse cities then the Ohio area.
Go get him Blue Jays , DFA J Davis
Agreed! It would be nice for the Jays to have a gaping hole in their lineup.
Go get him Blue Jays
Definitely gonna be a platoon situation with Bradley and Chang/Miller for now. But I wonder if Nolan Jones starts getting more reps at 1B now…..though he’s also stinking it up at the dish, too.
I’d like to see them commit to Naylor at 1B. Let Bradley hit DH until Reyes gets back, and if he is hitting strong, then put Naylor back out in RF and let Bradley play 1B.
I really thought Bradley should have broke camp instead of Bauers. so, if Bradley underperformed, you could go another direction at this same point of the season. now, you have to give Bradley some time. But Bradley was hot at the end of the spring.
This is where it may be unfair to Bradley. Can they give him as much time to fail as they gave Bauers (when he performed exactly how everyone thought he would)? I hope Bradley erases all doubt and earns his at bats.
Bradley, Miller and Chang huh? Guaranteed to hit at a .175 clip and strike out at a .600 rate.
Guessing Chang saw your comment and took exception to it.
And when everyone else was raking Miller goes 0-4 with 3 Ks. Chang had a bomb and nothing else.
Chang did save Ramirez on at least a couple bad throws to first.
Bauers might become a star some where,but it was never going to happen in Cleveland. To this day,like many of you I don’t know why they ever traded Yandy Diaz.
Because you NEVER trade with Tampa….they probably did some sorcery to convince CLE Yandy was a scrub, when will everyone learn???
Its so bad that Yandy is a perfect fit for CLE right now too. Although it doesn’t make any sense to do this trade, then let Santana walk for not a lot of money, that part is entirely on them.
I’d actually argue that the Indians should have never let Jesus Aguilar walk versus not trading Yandy Diaz. I’d prefer Aguilar.
Diaz is a borderline scrub.
Tell him that to his face!
Yes, because players should only be judged by their ability to beat people up.
Bauers doesn’t have the talent or attitude to become a star in this universe. He’s soft.
Probably headed to the Mets. Man, they are so outfield needy it’s ridiculous.
Have you seen him play the outfield? Eeek!
Bauers is a classic “one adjustment away” type – see, Muncy, Canha, Wendle etc. It’s up to a team to spot what that adjustment is and to allow him to work through it.
I see the Giants or Dodgers going after him. Seems like the Friedman/Zaidi type of player, like Tstutsugo or Ruf.
Have the Indians considered making offerings to Jobu or possibly signing Pedro Cerrano out of retirement? Maybe even Jake Taylor and Roger Dorn.
At 19, 20 and 21, he truly looked like he the tools necessary to be a big league starter. But as with many, major league pitchers and coaches found his weaknesses and exploited them. He never readjusted to what they were doing.
He’s still young enough to figure it out, but that’s up to him and his next group of coaches.
Is Jake Bauers the worst semi-regular in the MLB? Any other suggestions?
The other 1/2 of Cleveland’s lineup…
Hedges has defensive value though.
As an Indians fan, I don’t think Bradley is the long-term answer. He’s probably a AAAA guy and I don’t think he’ll hit enough to consistently tap into his power — even though he definitely has a lot of power.
That being said, this is still a move that needed made. Ever since the first half of his rookie year with the Rays, Jake Bauers has been downright terrible as a major league hitter. They’ve given him plenty of chances, and it’s always possible that he could amount to more with a different team, but he was never going to be a good hitter with the Indians. At this point, they might as well see what they have in Bradley.
I’m sorry this guy would be a perfect pick up for the Brewers to take a chance on . I’m pretty sure he could turn it around with them in that stadium
Tigers should take a look at him, can’t be much worse then Nunez.
Nunez isn’t on the Tigers. He’s on the Mudhens. He would have to be better than Schoop.
Nice to see Blake Parker back in the big leagues. He had a couple of decent seasons with the Angels. I’ll never forget when he struckout like 20 batters in a row albeit during spring training, but impressive nonetheless. I wish him luck in Cleveland.
He made it interesting last night, but got out of his own mess. What I don’t understand is how his actions in coming to the set position before throwing a pitch doesn’t constitute a balk.
As long as you repeat your motion every time, you’ll never get a balk called on you. It’s not deemed “deceptive.” Blake Parker is far from the only guy doing something like this. Heck, it’s been tolerated forever going back to Luis Tiant.
Yanks should claim Bauers if they get the opp
Bauers never had an 800 OPS season in the minors. He was a tad overhyped.
He had the whole “young for his level” buffer added to him but it never translated into anything