During the early stages of the offseason and throughout much of the Winter Meetings, the Los Angeles Dodgers were connected to a multitude of free agent and trade scenarios. On the trade front, that primarily amounted to reported interest in Corey Kluber and J.T. Realmuto.
With Kluber, the Cleveland Indians were said to have made a decision on trimming payroll by parting with multiple key veterans. Though, Carlos Carrasco was signed to a contract extension and taken off the trade block.
After sending Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals, and trading Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso, the Indians reportedly were content with their financial standing and no longer as motivated in moving Kluber or Trevor Bauer.
For the Miami Marlins, Realmuto made it clear his preference is to be traded rather than go through a rebuild. Miami’s exorbitant asking price has largely prevented much traction being gained in talks with various clubs.
That’s also one reason why the Dodgers trading for Kluber may be the more likely scenario, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com:
The #Dodgers trading for Corey Kluber was more realistic than the #Dodgers trading for J.T. Realmuto at the start of this week, one source told me. L.A. viewed #Marlins' asking price as exorbitant. But now the Dodgers have greater prospect depth from which to trade . . . @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 21, 2018
As noted, Friday’s trade with the Cincinnati Reds netted the Dodgers two intriguing prospects and financial and roster flexibility. That could prove beneficial in a trade for either Kluber or Realmuto, but if the Marlins remain insistent on Cody Bellinger, that’s proven to be a non-starter thus far.
Realmuto would be an answer for the Dodgers at catcher and help bridge the gap to Keibert Ruiz or Will Smith. Kluber would strengthen a starting rotation that’s already deep but can certainly stand to benefit from the addition of another elite arm.
The 32-year-old is under club control for three more seasons, with the final two years being team options.