ENCARNACION, SANTANA SWAPPED IN THREE-TEAM TRADE
In a three-team trade, the Cleveland Indians acquired infielder Carlos Santana and cash from the Seattle Mariners and outfielder/first baseman Jake Bauers from the Tampa Bay Rays; Tampa Bay acquired infielder Yandy Diaz and pitcher Cole Sulser from the Indians, and Seattle acquired infielder Edwin Encarnacion and a competitive balance round B draft pick in 2019 from the Indians, and cash from the Rays.
What does it give the Cleveland Guardians
Sometimes, you CAN go home again. After one season away from Cleveland, Santana returns to likely replace Encarnacion as the main designated hitter (though Santana can also play first base, third base, left field and even catcher in a pinch). The Tribe also land Bauers, an athletic left-handed batter who can play both first base and left field. Both Santana and Bauers give manager Terry Francona plenty of options.
What does it give the Tampa Bay Rays
The key to the deal for the Rays is Diaz,who batted .312 in 109 at-bats for Cleveland in 2018. He can play third base but could replace Bauers at first base in Tampa Bay. Or, Diaz may serve as a DH while filling in on the corners. Sulser is a late-blooming reliever who could get a shot with the Rays sooner rather than later. This deal is almost certainly not Tampa Bay's last of the off-season, as they have more moves to make.
What does it give the
For Seattle, this deal is not too surprising given the team's commitment to retool this off-season. Santana, who was recently acquired from Philadelphia, was said to be on the block once again, so he too is not surprised to be moving again. Encarnacion may replace Santana, who was acquired to replace veteran free agent DH Nelson Cruz (although Encarnacion may also be moved again).
Santana's numbers should be better now that he is back in Cleveland, while both Diaz and Bauers are breakout candidates with their respective new teams. Encarnacion is the wild card here, as many reports suggest he will not remain in Seattle (which may actually be a blessing in disguise for his fantasy owners). Sulser has no fantasy value until he lands a spot in Tampa Bay's bullpen on a regular basis.