Dodgers Trade Rumors: What Will It Take to Land Corey Kluber?

When you really think about it, quite a number of rumors that have generated surrounding the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings have been borderline crazy. Some sources have the Dodgers talking to the Tigers about 26-year-old outfielder Nick Castellanos, while other outlets say Los Angeles could be considering offering a deal to A.J. Pollock. The front office crew of the Dodgers is certainly leaving no stone unturned, and with one big trade or signing, the complexion of the team could change in the blink of an eye.

The Dodgers have been reported to be talking with the Indians since the days before Thanksgiving, but momentum seemed to fizzle a bit when Yan Gomes was dealt to the Nationals. However, more discussions have been happening, with the latest rumors believed to be surrounding righty pitcher Corey Kluber.

I’m one of those guys who believes the Dodgers should address the needs of the bullpen and catcher before pursuing starting pitching or outfielders, but oftentimes it’s tough to capititalize on opportunities based solely on priorities, especially when a two-time Cy Young Award winner is thrown onto the trading block.

The latest chatter suggests that the Indians are asking for Alex Verdugo as the centerpiece of a proposed deal, but if it was just solely Verdugo that Cleveland wanted, surely a trade would have happened by now. In the same breath, Verdugo may be the biggest bargaining chip of the Dodgers, so if he’s sent away early, it takes many other scenarios off the board. One of those could be the pursuit of catcher J.T. Realmuto of the Marlins, who, coincidentally, have asked for a package to be built around first baseman and outfielder Cody Bellinger.

The addition of somebody like Kluber could start a domino effect, most specifically leading the Los Angeles front office to shop a few of its surplus starting pitchers. The first name that comes to mind is Alex Wood, considering Cleveland’s shortage of lefty starters.

So, are the two Alexes—Verdugo and Wood—a reasonable proposition to the Indians? I think I would make the deal without blinking, which leads me to believe that Cleveland may want an even better return.

Kluber’s credentials speak for themselves, unless there’s something happening mechanically or healthwise for which scouts and pundits are oblivious. He’s thrown for 200 innings the last five seasons, and he’s won 18 games each of the past three years. Seemingly, he’s throwing better than ever, as his ERA has been under 3.00 and his WHIP under 1.00 over the last two seasons. On top of that, his 1.4 BB/9 last year was a career low.

And, when considering the buyout structure of his contract, he could potentially stick around through the 2021 season. With a salary of less than $18 million per year, he has bargain written all over him, even with all the mileage on his arm.

While the Dodgers don’t want to deal Bellinger to the Fish, and the Indians don’t want either Yasiel Puig or Matt Kemp as the centerpiece of a Kluber package, bringing Verdugo into the picture makes sense. Joc Pederson is only two years away from free agency, likely taking him out of the running for inclusion, and players like Chris Taylor or Andrew Toles don’t appear to have the upside that Cleveland desires.

There are plenty of free agent catchers and relievers on the market, and by adding a pitcher who has the ability to put up 20 wins with stellar numbers to boot, such an addition may outweigh an acquisition of a catcher who can hit .277/.340/.484 with 20 long balls.

 

 

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Yasiel Puig Trade Rumors Surfacing Once Again

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since he burst onto the major league scene back in 2013, trade rumors surrounding outfielder Yasiel Puig have become an annual event, especially during the offseason. This winter, however, whispers are surfacing more than usual, mainly because he’ll be eligible to test the free agent market after next season, so long as somebody doesn’t sign him to a long term deal beforehand. Furthermore, with the Dodgers making their interests public regarding a catcher and bullpen help, the front office crew may dangle the 28-year-old Cuban’s name in a prospective trade package or two at the Winter Meetings this week.

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Is Adam Ottavino a Good Fit for Dodgers?

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Being that there’s no shortage of decent relief pitching in this year’s free agent class, one wonders if boss Andrew Friedman will abandon his typical of philosophy from building his bullpen from within and dip into resources from the outside. While there’s still some speculation that the Dodgers will once again land below the Luxury Tax threshold next season, there still may be some room under the cap to land a quality fireman.

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Are the Dodgers Really Interested in Bryce Harper?

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(Getty Images photo)

Since the moment last season when the Dodgers appeared they would stay under the 2018 Luxury Tax threshold, rumors began to swirl linking the team to Bryce Harper, one of the headlining commodities of this winter’s free agent class. And, as impractical as it would be to sign the 26-year-old, indications suggest that the club is still doing its due diligence in pursuing the outfielder, despite the onslaught of criticism from pundits and fans.

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Dodgers Showing Interest in Lefty Pitcher Yusei Kikuchi

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According to the Japan Times, southpaw pitcher Yusei Kikuchi will be posted during the upcoming week, allowing all 30 MLB clubs to bid for the services of the 27-year-old. And, even though the Dodgers are as stacked as they come with lefty starting pitching, they’re among the many squads to be interested in bidding.

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Will Dodgers Non-Tender Any Contracts Before Friday’s Deadline?

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(Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Another one of those important winter deadlines has suddenly crept upon us. On Friday, November 30, the Dodgers must decide if they wish to tender 2019 contracts to any or all of their 10 arbitration-eligible players.

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Dodgers Announce 2019 Coaching Staff

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(Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

The Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon announced their big league coaches for the 2019 season, with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (14th season), bench coach Bob Geren (fourth season), first base coach George Lombard (fourth season), bullpen coach Mark Prior (second season) and assistant hitting coach Brant Brown (second season) all returning with Dino Ebel joining the field staff as the third base coach, Robert Van Scoyoc as hitting coach, Aaron Bates as assistant hitting coach and Chris Gimenez as the game planning coach.

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Is DJ LeMahieu a Good Fit for Dodgers?

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(Getty Images photo)

While there has been plenty of team news for fans of the Dodgers so far during the offseason, there haven’t been many rumors linked to free agents or trades, so when the big media outlets throw out a big name linked to the team, all of us bloggers tend to express our two cents almost immediately.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Diego Cartaya

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One would need to go back nearly a decade to realize the last time the Dodgers had significant strength and depth at the catching position. Russell Martin was coming off back-to-back All-Star campaigns in 2007 and 2008, while A.J. Ellis was emerging as one of the most reliable backup catchers in the bigs. Plus, there was a Top 5 prospect named Carlos Santana who was revered by every rival GM across the league.

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Can Dodgers and Indians Successfully Negotiate an Offseason Blockbuster?

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While there has been a ton of news surrounding the Dodgers in the first month of the offseason, there really haven’t been many rumors regarding any prospective player trades. Some chatter, however, has suggested that Los Angeles management has been talking to its counterpart in Cleveland, potentially setting up one of the first big trades of the winter.

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