By: T.J. Zuppe
Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again without getting pelted by MLB trade and free-agent rumors, the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds are reportedly attempting to play let's make a deal, with the Arizona Diamondbacks looking to get involved.
First reported by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, in the proposed deal, the Tribe would send outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and potentially another player to the Reds for outfielder Drew Stubbs and shortstop Didi Gregorius.
ESPN Cleveland confirmed talks are on-going between the two clubs according to a source.
If the club is able to acquire Gregorius - a 22-year old shortstop - it would give the Indians two potential shortstops to discuss in any possible future trade talks with another team the Tribe has been in close contact with - the Arizona Diamondbacks.
That possibility became more real when Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Arizona was potentially being brought into the fold. The Diamondbacks, according to reports, are more interested in acquiring Gregorius - and not Asdrubal Cabrera. The Tribe could be looking to deal for one of Arizona's talented starting pitchers.
Choo - a free-agent following the 2013 season - hit .283 with the Indians in 2012. He connected on 16 home runs and drove in 67 runs in 155 games for Cleveland.
Gregorius was 6-for-20 in his brief time with the big-league club last season. Between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012, he hit a combined .265 with 7 homers and 64 RBI.
Scouting reports point to the speed and athleticism of Gregorius as "plus." The left-handed hitter is also a good defender with a good arm.
Stubbs hit .213 with 14 homers and 30 stolen bases in 2012 with the Reds. He struck out 166 times in 136 games.
If this deal does progress forward into conclusion, it could set of a chain of events involving other deals and potential other signings. This could get very interesting, very quickly.
Update (8:50pm): The Choo to the Reds portion of the trade is done according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Infielder Jason Donald is expected to be included in the deal with more details to come. No confirmation from the team as of yet.
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