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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.

Report: David Price to pay each Dodgers minor leaguer $1,000 out of his own pocket

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Francys Romero reports that, according to his sources, Dodgers pitcher David Price will pay $1,000 out of his own money to each Dodgers minor leaguer who is not on the 40-man roster during the month of June.

That’s a pretty amazing gesture from Price. It’s also extraordinarily telling that such a gesture is even necessary.

Under a March agreement with Major League Baseball, minor leaguers have been receiving financial assistance that is set to expire at the end of May. Baseball America reported earlier this week that the Dodgers will continue to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week past May 31, but it is unclear how long such payments would go. Even if one were to assume that the payments will continue throughout the month of June, however, it’s worth noting that $400 a week is not a substantial amount of money for players to live on, on which to support families, and on which to train and remain ready to play baseball if and when they are asked to return.

Price’s generosity should be lauded here, but this should not be considered a feel-good story overall. Major League Baseball, which has always woefully underpaid its minor leaguers has left them in a vulnerable position once again.