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Corey Kluber trade looking less likely

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One of the weirdest thing this offseason has been the Indians’ reported desire to trade ace Corey Kluber. They have engaged with the Reds, Padres, Brewers and Dodgers regarding the possibility, though nothing has come together.

Why a team would want to trade its best starter in the middle of what should be a multi-year stretch of contention is beyond me, but most things point to the Tribe wanting to cut payroll. Apparently they have accomplished that mission because MLB.com’s Jon Morosi writes that the possibility of a Corey Kluber trade is “diminishing by the day.”

Kluber, 32, is a two-time AL Cy Young Award winner. This past season, Kluber went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings. He finished third in Cy Young balloting behind Blake Snell and Justin Verlander. He’ll make $17 million this season, then has two club options for the 2020-21 seasons at $17.5 million and $18 million, respectively, each with $1 million buyouts. For a pitcher of his caliber, that’s a bargain.

If you’re rooting for the Indians to win baseball games rather than to reach a certain, pre-defined level of profitability, the diminishing prospects of a Kluber trade should be good news to you.

Mattingly: Marlins sidelined by virus are ‘feeling great’

Marlins COVID-19 tests
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Maimi Marlins players sidelined by COVID-19 are all asymptomatic, and some have applied for reinstatement, according to manager Don Mattingly.

The Marlins placed 17 players on the injured list last week following an outbreak in Philadelphia that forced seven games to be postponed. The infected players returned to Miami to be quarantined, and will likely need rehab workouts before rejoining the team.

“They feeling great,” Mattingly said. “They all feel like they’re ready to go. There are a lot of guys who have applied for reinstatement. How long that takes, I’m not sure. But they feel like they’re ready to at least get back and start doing something.”

Players on the COVID-19 injury list must be cleared by the MLB joint committee before returning.

Mattingly made his comments before the Marlins’ game against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, where they concluded a season-opening trip that turned into a 23-day marathon because of scheduling changes necessitated by the outbreak.

The team plays at Marlins Park for the first time this season Friday against Atlanta.