With the Los Angeles Dodgers having missed out on marquee starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg in free agency, the trade market may prove to be the best path to bolstering their rotation.
L.A. has been linked to Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu, though each comes with respective question marks. Meanwhile, as the Dodgers and Cleveland Indians reportedly revisited Francisco Lindor trade talks, discussions are believed to have grown to include Mike Clevinger as well.
That came as somewhat of a surprise considering indications had largely suggested Corey Kluber as the most likely pitcher the Indians could part with. As such, interest and speculation involving the 33-year-old have again resurfaced in recent days.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Dodgers are likely among the teams that have some level of interest in Kluber:
Dodgers, Angels, Padres are believed to have shown interest in Kluber. @Ken_Rosenthal mentioned Rangers. Interesting Dodgers thought be involved since rumors with them had centered on Lindor.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 14, 2019
The right-hander is coming off an injury-plagued season that saw him make just seven starts. He missed the final few months of the year after sustaining a fractured right forearm on May 1.
While he was unable to pitch much in 2019, Kluber is not far removed from an All-Star campaign in 2017 that also saw him win the American League Cy Young Award. He followed that up by going 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and AL-leading 215 innings pitched. Kluber finished third in Cy Young voting.
Kluber’s contract includes an $18 million team option for the 2021 season. Comparatively, Clevinger is in the first year of being arbitration-eligible. Of course, Clevinger’s youth and team control would allow for the Indians to command a larger return if he was packaged with Lindor.
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