Dodgers Trade Rumors: Talks With Indians Include Francisco Lindor & Mike Clevinger Scenario
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger
Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

Having missed out on Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, the Los Angeles Dodgers figure to turn to the trade market as they pursue an aforementioned elite player that president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the team targeted at the Winter Meetings.

While there’s been speculation the Dodgers and Chicago Cubs could discuss a trade involving Kris Bryant, the Cleveland Indians may present a more likely partner. Despite claims from the Indians that Francisco Lindor is not available, rumors of trade talks with the Dodgers persist.

If the clubs were to align on a deal, conventional wisdom is the Dodgers would seek a starting pitcher as part of the package. Most presumed that to be Corey Kluber, who the Dodgers have previously held interest in.

However, according to David Vassegh, one framework of a trade the Dodgers have discussed with the Indians involved receiving Mike Clevinger in addition to Lindor:

“The Dodgers have a lot of prospect capital and not just guys, but guys that can make a difference. Gavin Lux, from what I’ve been told, is a guy that the Indians would want in any deal for Francisco Lindor.

And from what I’ve found out the last 24 hours, there have been different versions of the trade discussed that would involve Lindor and not Corey Kluber, but Lindor and possibly Mike Clevinger.”

Clevinger has been a part of the Indians’ starting rotation since 2017 and this past season went 13-4 with career-bests 2.71 ERA and 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

He is in first year of arbitration while Kluber is due to become a free agent after 2020 season. That type of team control — along with Lindor not eligible to reach free agency until after the 2021 campaign — would figure to cost the Dodgers in prospects.

The Indians are believed to covet Gavin Lux and Dustin May as part of their return, and presumably would insist on receiving both top prospects if Clevinger was sent to L.A.

Dating back to the trade deadline this past season, the Dodgers have remained steadfast in their refusal to include May and Lux in talks. While both may not be included on the Opening Day roster, they each figure to play a key role for the Dodgers in 2020.

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