The Cleveland Indians have shed plenty of payroll this winter, which means the likelihood of trading both Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — or even just one of them — is decreasing by the day. But that’s not scaring teams away altogether just yet, especially when it comes to Kluber. According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, several teams are in on the ace.
Sources: #Indians trade talks involving Corey Kluber have continued this week. The Cleveland front office is very thorough. #Dodgers, #Brewers, #Phillies, #Reds among the teams that have shown interest. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 19, 2018
The question will always be, of course, whether or not Cleveland feels the need to move him. And as things stand, the Indians are in a tricky situation. If they keep all of their starters from a season ago, it’s likely they make the playoffs again in 2019. After all, they were the only AL Central team with a winning record (91-71) this past season. But they do have plenty of question marks as well. And getting the most for Kluber now, who has one year remaining on his current contract plus two relatively affordable options after that, might make the most season.
This past season, the 32-year-old two-time Cy Young winner put together another fine season. Across 215 innings of work, he finished with a 2.89 ERA, 3.15 FIP and 2.84 DRA in 33 starts. He also struck out 26.4 percent of opposing batters, down eight ticks from a season ago but right in line with career averages.
So should the Indians stand pat, or is it more sensible for them to get what they can now? Regardless, there appears to be no shortage of interst. That makes us believe this will take a while before we know much more. As things stand, the Brewers have done nothing to improve their team after finishing one game away from the World Series. As we know, the Dodgers have plenty of resources and the Phillies seem to be in on everyone this winter.
Time will tell.