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.