As the offseason was in its early stages, the Cleveland Indians appeared poise to trade away multiple veterans, including Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Yan Gomes and Corey Kluber, among others.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers looking to find a starting catcher and possibly strengthen their starting rotation, they emerged as a potential trade partner for the Indians. That possibility was thought to have lessened when Cleveland traded Gomes to the Washington Nationals and signed Carrasco to an extension.
But after reports suggested the Indians were content with the payroll they’ve already shed, came indications they were again open to moving a starting pitcher. As such, the Dodgers reportedly remain in pursuit of Kluber.
They’ve been joined by the San Diego Padres but they may still be trailing the reigning National League champions, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com:
The Padres and Indians are engaged in discussions about a trade that would send Kluber to San Diego, sources told MLB.com, although one person with knowledge of the talks does not believe the Padres have eclipsed the Dodgers as favorites to land Kluber — yet.
It’s been speculated whether the Indians ultimately work out a trade with the Dodgers or Padres will hinge on their preference for an offer that’s headlined by Alex Verdugo or Manuel Margot. Cleveland is believed to be among the teams with interest in Cody Bellinger, but the Dodgers are not considering him available for trade.
In Kluber, either the Dodgers or Padres would be acquiring an ace-caliber pitcher who remains under team control for three seasons, with 2020 and 2021 coming at $17.5 million and $18 million club options.