Cleveland Indians: Assessing the continued Kluber rumors

Can we just stop talking about trading Corey Kluber if the Cleveland Indians aren’t actually going to do it? My heart can’t take much more of this.

Alright, I know this Corey Kluber three-team trade rumor has been out for a few days. I just needed some time to assess the situation. A three-team trade between the Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, and Cincinnati Reds has “bad idea” written all over it. Now the New York Yankees are involved and the trade sounds equally as bad.

That’s my perspective at least. Why? A few reasons. We’re going to break them down and it starts with the obvious one. Our own Matt Bretz put it best.

This feels like the truth. It’s been obvious that the Indians have been shopping Corey Kluber since the offseason started. There have been a ton of offers from a ton of teams. None of those offers had the Indians getting a good end of the deal. It’s typically involved a questionable prospect that doesn’t feel like an immediate need for the Indians.

It may not feel like the Indians are looking to feel immediate needs due to the lack of money spent, but they still feel like they’re in a spot to contend. Otherwise, they would have sold the farm a long time ago. The AL Central is getting better, but whether they’re good enough to overtake Cleveland is debatable.

*phew* Okay, we got that out of the way. Let’s look at the logistics here. These trades usually wind up with the Indians getting top prospects of some kind. With the aforementioned teams here are the top prospects the Indians may have interest in. Fernando Tatis is the top prospect on the Padres and he’s a STUD. He has incredible range and athleticism on defense. He’s still in AA but could be MLB ready by as early as the end of this season. His wRC+ was at 133 in 2018 and the Steamer has him projected to play 57 games in the MLB this year.

That said, the Indians don’t need him right now or for a while. The Padres aren’t going to trade him either. The Padres have a ton of starting pitching prospects (that the Indians don’t need) but nothing worth the value they could get for Kluber.

Now let’s look at the Reds. Nick Senzel is someone who could possibly be moved as he’s been rumored in some of the Reds trade rumors. He could be a huge benefit for the Indians at 3B, but the infield isn’t an immediate need for the Tribe. I’m not entirely opposed for this move straight up, but it just doesn’t seem likely.

Then that brings us to the Yankees. Their top outfield prospect Estevan Florial likely won’t be MLB-ready until 2020 which is when the Indians will lose a ton of key players. A relief pitcher in their system Domingo Acevedo is an enticing prospect with his velocity, but he alone shouldn’t warrant a Kluber trade.

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I’m not stingy, I just think that the Indians should get the value Kluber offers in return for trading him. He’s a two-time Cy Young Award winner that is still in his prime with three years of team control left. Anything the Indians get in return should keep them in contention for the next few seasons.

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