Bud Selig could intervene in Theo Epstein talks

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If you thought the Theo Epstein situation wasn’t silly enough already, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that commissioner Bud Selig may act as arbitrator if the Red Sox and Cubs can’t agree on compensation for the former Boston GM.

Selig made the comments last night during an appearance on Sirius XM’s “Mad Dog Radio” with Chris Russo.

”It is a possibility. No question, it is a possibility.”

There were a few optimistic reports out of Chicago yesterday that suggested a resolution was close, but Red Sox owner John Henry said otherwise in comments to the Boston Globe. With Friday essentially ruled out, it now appears that an announcement will either have to wait until the next off-day of the World Series on Tuesday or after the series is completed.

Report: Indians, Padres still talking about starting pitching trade

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.

The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.

Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.

Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.

The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.