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Indians, Reds, Padres are talking about a Corey Kluber deal

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There have been off-and-on rumors about the Indians wanting to trade ace Corey Kluber all offseason. There haven’t been any compelling explanations about why they want to trade Kluber, but they still, apparently, are interested in trading him. Welcome to baseball in 2019.

Earlier talks this offseason between the Indians and Reds — and, alternatively, the Indians and the Padres — apparently went nowhere. So here’s a new wrinkle: Dennis Lin and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic are reporting that the Indians, Padres and Reds are talking about Kluber in the context of a potential three-way deal.

Reading all of the tweets and stuff that surround that, it seems that the Reds want Kluber and the Padres want Reds top prospect Nick Senzel. That’s fine as far as it goes, except (a) the Reds really don’t want to part with Senzel; and (b) no one, still, can fully explain what the Indians want out of all of this. They could use Senzel themselves, but those talks are presumably part of what went nowhere with the Reds earlier this offseason and, even if there was still some momentum to all of that, there would be no point in involving the Padres. Again: none of this adds up perfectly. Probably because it’s seemingly driven by a contending team wanting to trade a perennial Cy Young candidate who is under team control at a reasonable rate and that just breaks the model.

Nothing is imminent, say Lin and Rosenthal. Which is probably good for Indians fans who, quite reasonably, probably want to know why the team they root for seem so hell-bent on trading one of the best pitchers in baseball at a time when they should be gearing up to match the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros and attempting to win a World Series which is, you know, the point of baseball.

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.