Trading Corey Kluber may sound insane to some Indians fans. He has won two Cy Young Awards in Cleveland since 2014 and gave the Indians a true ace.
Then things changed a bit in 2019 when Kluber only appeared in seven games due to what ended up being a season-ending injury.
That allowed players like Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale, and Mike Clevinger to shine in the ace’s absence. The rotation was set up well enough to where the front office was comfortable trading Trevor Bauer away.
The front office already said they are going to exercise Kluber’s $17.5 million option for 2020. His deal includes another $18 million club option for 2021.
Trading Kluber this offseason would clear up a ton of money for the Indians to plug other holes along the roster. That money could go toward a Lindor extension, re-signing Yasiel Puig, adding a few bullpen arms, or even targeting a top free agent outfielder on a short-term deal.
His injury was a freak accident and should have no effect on his abilities as a pitcher. That makes his value high and he would be a cheap addition for a team with a huge payroll that dwarfs the one in Cleveland.
The offer would have to include both prospects and at least one player who is an established major leaguer right now. Yet if the price is right, I don’t think the Indians would hesitate. Moving Bauer was the first sign that the Indians are confident in the young core currently making up the rotation.