Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that teams in contact with the Cleveland Indians, the team is more likely to trade starting pitcher Trevor Bauer than Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco. Bauer has two more years of team control left and was an All-Star for the first time last year, so it makes sense the Indians are looking to shop him right now. Here are some teams that could trade for the 27-year-old.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been in the market for a front-end starter for the entire offseason and have already had reported discussions with the Indians about Kluber and catcher Yan Gomes. These talks with the Indians will continue because the Dodgers need a starter and the Indians need young outfielders and a young catcher. The Dodgers have both of those and the Indians could bring back a big haul for Bauer. The likes of Yasiel Puig and Alex Verdugo in the outfield and Keibert Ruiz or Will Smith behind the plate. The Dodgers and the Indians seem like the most likely destination as the Dodgers have MLB ready players where the Indians need and the Indians have the front-end starter the Dodgers want to pair with Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler.
New York Mets
Like the Dodgers, the Mets have had discussions with the Indians about Gomes and Kluber or Carrasco. Throwing Bauer into the mix would not be a surprise because this would allow the Mets to trade Noah Syndergaard and keep another top of the line pitcher. The Mets have a plethora of outfielders and they would have to give one of them up in order to get both Gomes and Bauer or even just Bauer. The Mets would likely have to give up either Brandon Nimmo or Michael Conforto to receive Bauer along with a pair of lower end prospects like Tomas Nido (catcher) and Eric Hanhold (RHP).
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are currently wasting their valuable time with arguably the best baseball player of all time in Mike Trout. They need to get a pitcher and make a run while they still have some time to do so. Bauer can be that guy that can get them over the hump. It is going to cost them but it is worth it to try and win the world series with Trout. The Angels have one of the better outfield prospects in Jo Adell. Adell is 19-years-old and within the next year or two could be the power outfielder the Indians have been searching for since Manny Ramirez left. The Indians would also likely get back their top pitching prospect in Griffin Canning along with some other prospects. This would be a good haul but is not likely to happen because the Angels don’t have the MLB ready prospects they need right now.
The Phillies have been in the market for almost end top-end free agent this offseason, including the starting pitchers like Patrick Corbin. If they cannot land Corbin or another top-end pitcher, they would turn to the Indians for Bauer. The Phillies do not have the best farm system or the best MLB ready players that they would be willing to trade them away. Aaron Altherr is one of the names that could go back to the Indians and he struggled mightily last season but still has the ability to hit 20+ home runs. Jorge Alfaro could be another name to leave Philly for Cleveland is the young catcher the Indians would be looking for. The Indians would likely get back a top prospect from the Phillies like Sixto Sanchez or Adam Haseley.
The Braves were a surprising team last season in that their young guys carried them into the postseason. Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Mike Foltynewicz are some of the best young core in the league today. The Braves need a front-end starter and any of the Indians starters, but especially Bauer. The Braves have a great center fielder that could move to the corners in Ender Inciarte and some great prospects. Austin Riley, 3B, and catcher William Contreras could be some of the names that would come back to the Indians. The Braves and Indians would be a great match because of the young players and Inciarte that would come back to the Indians.
Overall, the Indians are likely going to be involved in a ton of trade talks this offseason because that is the only way that they are going to be able to improve their roster. Trevor Bauer to any of these teams would be a good match for the Indians and if they get the right package they will pull the trigger.