The Cleveland Indians have officially exercised Corey Kluber’s 2020 option. His name still could come up in trade talks this offseason.
The team said it was going to happen, but the news just recently became official.
Pour one out for Jason Kipnis.
Kluber is set to make $17.5 million this season and has an $18 million club option for 2021. The fact he is under team control through 2021 may have some teams calling about a potential trade this offseason. If he isn’t traded, I suspect the calls will continue up until the trade deadline.
The Indians are in an interesting spot. What happens with Francisco Lindor essentially signals which direction the team will go. If it is clear an extension with him is impossible, his name could come up in trade rumors during the season. If that is the case, moving Kluber and just stockpiling talent could be a move to prevent a massive rebuild that would occur if both players leave with nothing in return.
Losing Lindor would be crushing. But trading Kluber may not have a similar negative effect. He missed nearly all of last season and the rotation never skipped a beat. Guys like Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac still need to prove themselves over a larger sample, but the initial signs were positive.
Trading star players is no fun. Fans are attached and the players have done great things for the team. However, if Kluber is set to be in a declining stage of his career the Indians would be smart to move him.
That is on the team to get a good feel of where he is heading into 2020.
Knowing this front office, cutting costs is always the goal. That could mean Kluber is in a different uniform at some point in 2020.