Over the past few weeks rumors have been circulating that the Cleveland Indians are listening to offers for players like Carlos Carrasco, Jason Kipnis, and Edwin Encarnacion and one of the most important and biggest names rumored is two-time Cy-Young winner Corey Kluber.
Kluber has been one of the leagues best pitchers for the last few seasons and his numbers have shown. Since 2014, Kluber has an average 2.84 ERA. Kluber has also finished in the top 3 in the Cy-Young voting in four out of those five seasons. He has been dominant in almost every fashion except for one, (in the last two seasons), the playoffs. In the last two postseasons, Kluber has had an ERA of 10.25. Being one of the top pitchers in the regular season, this came as a big surprise to not only the team but especially to the fans.
Corey Kluber is set to make around $17 million next season and has two club options for the 2020 and 2021. With the Indians already being at the top of the payroll budget for the next few seasons and players like Francisco Lindor set to hit the arbitration market, the Indians need to find a way to cut back on their payroll for the coming years.
To save some money the Indians are listening to the offers for Corey Kluber among others and there is a lot of interest in the 32-year-old. Many teams have had interest but one team has stuck out and been reported as of now and that is the New York Yankees. The Yankees are big in the starting pitching market in not only free agency but also in the trade market. If the Yankees strike out on players like Patrick Corbin or J.A. Happ, they will turn their heads to the Indians for Kluber or even Carlos Carrasco.
While I do not like the fact or the idea of trading Corey Kluber, it is something I realize could likely happen. I would prefer the team trade him to the National League, but if the Yankees offer the best package, I think you have to take it. I think in return for Kluber the Indians could get back guys like Clint Fraizer and Justus Sheffield, but also prospects or win now players like Miguel Andujar or Gleyber Torres.
There are some other teams like the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago White Sox. With the Angels the Indians could swing back both of their top prospects in Jo Adell and Griffin Canning. This would be a great haul but would also take more than that to pry away Kluber. The White Sox would be one of the last teams to be able to trade for Kluber based on them being an in-division foe. If the White Sox were to trade for Kluber it would likely cost them Eloy Jimenez plus some.
While the Cleveland Indians are listening to offers for almost every player on their roster, I think they should and will end of trading Corey Kluber to an American League team. They will face a lot of backlash from fans but it makes sense for the team to trade him now with his value at an all-time high.