The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians have long been linked as potential trade partners and once again it’s happening this offseason.
Jon Morosi reports that talks for Indians’ ace Corey Kluber have ‘intensified’ and the reigning NL champions are involved.
While previous rumors linked Yasiel Puig to Cleveland, Morosi this time mentioned the interest in top prospect Alex Verdugo.
It makes sense for the AL Central champions to be interested in Verdugo. They are looking for outfielders and while Puig (or others) would be an upgrade, Verdugo comes at a cheap price and with six years of team control. Because of this, the Dodgers may be hesitant to move the 22-year-old.
One thing that may drive the Dodgers to pulling the trigger on a deal involving Verdugo is the fact that the team has a surplus of outfielders and another year in the minors would be detrimental to his development.
As for Kluber, he would immediately slot into the top of the Dodgers rotation and give them one of the better trios in the game with Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. The former Cy Young finished third in the voting last season after ending the year with a 20-7 record, 2.89 ERA, 3.12 FIP and 222 strikeouts in 33 starts (215 IP).
He’s made at least 29 starts and thrown at least 200 innings in five consecutive seasons.