PDT Content Manager
Multiple media outlets reported Tuesday evening that the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians were in the final stages of a trade that would send Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs to Cleveland in return for Indians outfielder Shin Soo Choo.
Danny Knobler of CBS sports initially reported the trade was pending and it was later confirmed by Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports and John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Multiple reports as of 8:30 p.m. said the Arizona Diamondbacks were also involved in the trade and that the Reds would be shipping shortstop prospect Didi Gregarius to either the Indians or Diamondbacks as part of the deal.
The 30-year-old Choo, who would presumably fill the center field spot vacated by Stubbs, is a lifetime .310 hitter with a .381 career on-base percentage through eight seasons in the majors.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Tuesday evening that utility infielder Jason Donald would also be part of the deal, coming over from Cleveland. Donald hit .202 with the Indians last season and batted .277 while playing for the Indians’ top minor league affiliate in Columbus.
Players moving from Arizona were not specified at the time of publication, but multiple reports specified pitching prospects moving from Arizona to Cleveland and also the possibility of Gregarius going to the Diamondbacks.
At 9 p.m. Tuesday Jon Heyman of CBS sports reported the Donald and Choo aspects of the trade finalized. One report said the trade involved up to seven or eight players.
Stubbs hit .213 this season and has seen his average decline over the last three seasons. At 28, he is regarded as an elite defensive center fielder.
Choo’s deal expires at the end of the 2013 season. He made $4.9 million this past season and is arbitration eligible. Tuesday’s deal could be seen as a bridge to fill the leadoff role in the lineup until top prospect Billy Hamilton is called up by the Reds.
Choo has primarily been played in the corner outfield positions over his career, but does have some limited experience playing center.
Gregorius was ranked as Cincinnati’s sixth-best prospect by the publication Baseball America. Between stops at Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville, he had a .265 batting average in 2012.