Rumors Continue to Sizzle Around Dodgers & Indians

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As the hot stove in the MLB off-season starts to heat up, many rumors abound concerning the Dodgers. The most prevalent ones are between the Dodgers and the Indians, with Cleveland sending a starting pitcher to the Dodgers, for one of the Dodgers’ outfielders (plus others).

The Indians are looking to restructure their payroll, so they could work on keeping Francisco Lindor who is arbitration eligible after next season, while upgrading their bullpen. They are reportedly willing to trade one or two of their starters, namely Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber and/or Carlos Carrasco. Which one of these three right handed pitchers would be the best fit for the Dodgers rotation?

Kluber is a two-time AL Cy Young winner who is the only pitcher besides Max Scherzer to throw more than 1,000 innings since 2014. The 32-year-old lead the AL with 215 innings in 2018 through 33 games, sporting a 20-7 record and a 2.89 ERA with 222 strikeouts and a 0.991 WHIP. He avoided the DL, but needed shots in his knee over the All-Star Break to make it through the rest of the season. Kluber has not pitched well in the playoffs, going 0-3 in his last three starts with an ERA over 10. He is signed through 2019 with the remainder of a five-year/$42.3 million contract and has team options for the two years after that.

Carlos Carrasco is probably the least likely of the three to be traded to the Dodgers. He pitched 192 innings last season, with a 17-10 record, a 3.38 ERA, 231 strikeouts and a 1.125 WHIP. The 31-year-old is signed through 2019 at $9.8 million with a team option for $9.5 million in 2020. Carrasco is coming off of four straight 25+ start seasons, with a 3.40 combined ERA over that time. He and Kluber are each part of seven pitchers who have had at least 25 starts and 110 ERA+ over the last three seasons.

The most intriguing of the trio is Trevor Bauer. Only Carrasco and Kluber were mentioned as being available for trade, until a few days ago when Bob Nightengale tweeted that Bauer not only could be, but was the one the Indians were most interested in moving. The 27-year-old starter is coming off his best season yet, going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA in 28 games and 175.1 innings. He amassed 221 strikeouts at an 11.3 K/9 rate and had a 1.089 WHIP. His previous best before last season 17-9 with a 4.19 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 2017.

Bauer does not become a free agent until 2021 and will be second year arb eligible after the 2019 season. He’s younger and under team control for longer, but some might see his brashness as not fitting the the Los Angeles front office’s MO, and one could also wonder if he will continue to have the type of years that he did in 2018.

The Dodgers could use right-handed pitching, as Walker Buehler is currently the only righty starter. Any one of these pitchers would be a formidable number three behind he and Kershaw.

In return for one of these front line starters, Yasiel Puig has been the most mentioned name. The Indians would also like a pitcher to replace the one their had traded, so maybe Alex Wood could be included in the deal. Presumably a prospect, or maybe including somebody like Yadier Alvarez, or one of the two catching prospects would get the deal done. Catcher Yan Gomes‘ name has also been floated out there as someone who the Dodgers may be interested in, so the package could grow if that was indeed the case of both a starter and catcher going to the Dodgers.

As an aside, baseball first and foremost is a business, and I believe the most of the fans understand and deal with that. But that doesn’t mean when a beloved member of your team is included in so trade talks, it hurts any less. Puig has been mentioned in trade talks for his whole tenure as a Dodger, and frankly I’m a little surprised he hasn’t actually been traded before now. Puig is under control through the upcoming season, and it would seem the Dodgers might not want to re-sign him if they are willing to trade him. His tenure with the team might be coming to an end—his flair and personality will leave a huge hole on the team.

Regardless of who is included in a trade between the Dodgers and Indians, it makes a lot of sense for both sides. It fits both teams in terms of money and positional need, and while the rumors have persisted for awhile, which can sometimes mean nothing is going to happen, I wouldn’t be surprised if a trade does happen. (I’ll just hold out hope against hope that Puig is not included.).

 

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24 thoughts on “Rumors Continue to Sizzle Around Dodgers & Indians

  1. This proposed trade has been spoken about by baseball people for the past week, but I just don’t see the logic in it from the Indians point of view. They have a good supply of left handed hitting outfielders so are looking for a righty. Puig’s numbers are much more like a lefty than a righty. Also, he only has one year of control remaining. Same with Wood. Their estimated combined arbitration salaries for 2019 are $20 mil, more than Kluber’s and way more than Bauer’s. Alvarez’s trade value at this point is very limited because of his general attitude plus lack of results. If we wind up getting one of their pitchers, I’ve got to believe the deal will look quite different than the one everyone has mentioned.

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  2. Have to believe Dodgers would want Gomes in this deal and the price would be much higher. Alvarez has lost a lot of trade value after last year. If I was Indians GM, May, Smith and another prospect would have to be included with Puig/Pederson and Wood/Stripling. Anything less would be steal for Dodgers.

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  3. Which pitcher makes a difference. Bauer would maybe be cheaper for a few reasons. Kluber has miles on him but as a 175 inning pitcher, the Friedman Model, he could easily last 3 more years. He has not been successful in post season but maybe because he’s already thrown 215 innings. I don’t think Carrasco is going anywhere. But, that’s just a guess.

    With a.766 career OPS vs LHP Puig isn’t that bad against them. If the Indians are looking for an everyday crowd pleaser, he would be a great middle order fit there.

    I’d do Puig, Wood and a mid prospect for Kluber. I might do Puig for Bauer straight up. Bauer projects between 175-193 innings 3.3 ERA. Those are tempting numbers. But then, this was his first year with an ERA under 4. I’d have to have Brand convince me on that one.

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  4. First off, Buehler is not the only RH starter. They have Stripling, Maeda and Stewart. This is still in the rumor stage and no one knows which pitcher is being discussed. And today is the non tender deadline. According to a breaking story on Twitter, Cingrani has agreed to a 1 year deal and all the players will be offered contracts. Reds non tendered Billy Hamilton and he is a free agent.

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  5. Sizzle has turned to fizzle. Gomes is going to the Nats. The Dodgers did not non tender anyone and Cingrani has a 1 year deal. They are still talking with the Indians about a starter, but the blockbuster type trade is not going to happen. They are in contact with Martin Maldonado’s agent, and they are still talking to DJ Lamahieu. A couple of interesting names now free agents including Billy Hamilton and Jonathon Schoop.

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    1. It’s early. There is still plenty of time to not do a blockbuster. No thanks on Hamilton and Schoop had a good year in ‘17, but a career .294 OBP clearly sucks. We can do better.

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    2. We could have certainly beaten what the Nats gave up for Gomes, so I’m assuming that the reports of our interest in him were exaggerated. If Barnes comes back a little bit next year he’s better than Maldonado so I’m not sure if those conversations will lead to anything, although Barnes certainly won’t catch 162 games next year so we’ll need someone. Or, Andrew may be hot on the trail of Cervelli or Ramos or………………..(gasp) Realmuto.

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      1. One thing Maldonado excels at is throwing out runners. He has a cannon of an arm and is great defensively. His bat is not that great, but as far as defense goes, for 1 year, I would take the guy. He will run into one now and then and he hit a homer against the Dodgers.

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  6. Angels non-tender Blake Parker. He was spectacular in 2017 and came back to earth last year. Wonder if Andrew would like to take a chance on him and let Honey try to fix him.

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    1. Low risk, high reward, Andrews kind of guy. Forget Realmuto. They want the farm for the guy and are holding out for a kings ransom in return. At least next year we do not have to see that stupid home run whirligig when they play the fish. They changed their uni’s again too. No more of that bright orange or the teal.

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      1. I think the Marlins are playing a game of chicken with everyone. Setting the bar ridiculously high to see if anyone will be silly enough to do it. Eventually they’ll reduce the ask but if they wait too long no one will need a catcher. As it is, Yaz may have a hard time finding work. No way they don’t trade Realmuto by July but I’m guessing the Astros get him by January and don’t give up Whitley to do it.

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  7. Including Wood/Stripling or perhaps substitute Caleb Ferguson in a deal would be fine. Even throwing in Alvarez is fine. Except Wood they all have years of team control.They are all guys who are marginal rotation guys for us, who could probably bolster the rotation of the Indians who wold lose a starter. Regarding outfielders, I would really hate to see both Puig and Pederson go. I’d much rather offer Andrew Toles and/or Alex Verdugo. Yes, Verdugo offers a lot of potential, but we just haven’t seen it inches major league stints. He is a high batting average guy, but doesn’t have much power. Toles could start in many major league outfields.

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  8. I prefer LaMahieu over Schoop, holding out for that put the ball in play guy. I’m with Jeff D, if the Indians are trying to shed payroll puig, and Wood together doesn’t make sense, to much money, if they need puig in the outfield, I see some inexpensive pitchers going there, or maybe Wood goes to a third team for someone, who would go to the Indians, and we still send a prospect or two.

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  9. A three way would work. How about this – we send Muncy, Alvarez/White and Puig for Kluber, the Indians send all 3 of them to San Diego for Urias, Paddack and Morejon.

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  10. Just read this from Mike Puma:

    “There was a college baseball game in the 1940s in which George Bush was the starting 1B for Yale and Vin Scully was the starting CF for Fordham. Whatever you thought of Bush as president, he was great baseball guy. RIP”

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  11. One of those boring Saturdays that always seem to happen this time of year. No interest in any of the college football playoff games or college basketball, soooooooooooooooooo I am re-watching the only MLB game I went to this year. The July 4th tilt between the Pirates and the Dodgers. This game was during the stretch before the all star game when the Dodgers were pretty hot. No news except the Gomes trade to the Nats coming out of baseball right now. That will change on the 13th.

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      1. Given the choice I guess we’d all rather trade Wood than Hill. I think Andrew’s interest is mostly based on future years as Hill and Ryu will be gone after this year. I’m assuming Kikuchi gets at least 4 or 5 years. I wonder if Kluber and Kikuchi are mutually exclusive? If we get Kluber do we then not go after Kikuchi, and vice versa? Or would the F.O. try to have both if possible? To choose from for 2020: Kershaw, Buehler, Kluber, Kikuchi, Urias, May, Santana, Ferguson, Maeda, Stripling (assuming none have been traded by then, and that would probably be an incorrect assumption).

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      2. How did you guys get his name right and I screwed it up???? Ok KIKUCHI. I go with trading Wood if they do sign the guy because I really like rolling Ferguson into that slot somewhere down the line. Hill will not be retained after this year. They have Urias and Ferguson in the wings. Wood to me seems to need a change of scenery. Former Dodger Trayce Thompson signed a minor league contract with the Indians and Luis Avilan was non tendered so he is a free agent.

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      3. He is the Walrus. Or maybe Mrs Robinson. Little known fact maybe, lyric sheet says goo goo g’joob. Then there’s this….

        “Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, a book which Lennon read after being compared to him following ‘In His Own Write’ contains the line: “goo goo goosth”. Joyce was part of the photo montage on the Sgt Pepper covershoot, but is either obscured or removed. It’s not much of a link but it could be the genesis of the line, as Lennon was known to be writing ‘I Am The Walrus’ as an excercise in pointedly random nonesense, in a similar style to Joyce.”

        But, who among us really care? Just sign Kikuchi, trade Wood for prospects and wait til deadline to make a move.

        I see nobody responded to my Puig to San Diego proposal. Thought for sure that would light somebody up. Guess I’ll have to try harder.

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      4. Scoop, would have commented on your LA-SD-Cleve deal but it left me speechless. Actually I don’t know the SD prospects well enough to comment on that part of the deal but from our end I’d much rather include Alvarez than White. Not sure Andrew would do that deal. I’m guessing the Indians would. I don’t think any of us knows what the Dodger front office really thinks about Muncy. We may find out within the next couple of weeks.

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