Looking to upgrade their starting rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been in talks with the Cleveland Indians all winter long to acquire two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.
Unsurprisingly though, Cleveland’s asking price has been large, so the two teams have not yet been able to come to an agreement.
As time goes by, other teams are starting to get involved in discussions with the Indians, which could drive the price up even more.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the teams that the Indians are having the most serious discussions with are all in the National League, and the Dodgers are among them:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 26, 2018
The main reason that the Indians are shopping their ace is so they can reduce payroll as he is owed around $18 million per year for the next three seasons, with the final two being team options.
Cleveland is believed to be seeking a Major League-ready outfielder in return, so the Dodgers may be a perfect match considering their top prospect Alex Verdugo proved to be just that in 2018. Reports indicate that the Dodgers would be willing to include Verdugo in a trade for Kluber, although Cody Bellinger is believed to be off limits.
If the San Diego Padres are serious about acquiring Kluber then they may be the Dodgers’ biggest competitors. They have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball, and two young outfielders in Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe that may be appealing to the Indians.
The Dodgers’ recent trade with the Cincinnati Reds helped them clear payroll in addition to acquiring a pair of prospects, which could also clear the way for a Kluber trade if that is the direction they want to go.