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LA’s Yasiel Puig, Alex Verdugo may be targets

In Cleveland Indians rumors, the Tribe and Dodgers are talking trade. Juding by the Tribe’s needs, Yasiel Puig and Alex Verdugo may be targets.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal has been dropping nuggets lately, that have Cleveland Indians rumors heating up the hot stove.

On Nov. 19, Rosenthal cited a source who told him the Tribe was “scrambling to get younger players.”

On Nov. 20, Rosenthal tweeted that the Dodgers and the Tribe were talking, leading Rosenthal to speculate that based on need, the Dodgers could offer Cleveland outfielders Joe Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Alex Verdugo.

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Verdugo is one of the players I wrote about weeks ago when looking for a trade partner. He’s only 22, but has logged enough at-bats at the Triple-A level. He’s ready for his shot, and he’s blocked by players such as Puig.

Any trade involving Corey Kluber–assuming the Dodgers are aiming to acquire starting pitching–needs to include Verdugo, who is one of baseball’s top prospects.

Considering how affordable Kluber would be, especially for a financial powerhouse like LA, the Tribe might as well as ask for Verdugo and Pederson–to start– in a trade. Puig, can be a free agent at the end of 2019, so he’s probably not all that valuable to the Tribe.

Pederson’s under control for two more years. He’s hit at least 25 homers in three of his last four seasons. He’s a lifetime .228 hitter.

Through 512 minor league games, Verdugo’s batting .309 (.811 OPS).

Just based off need, these two names mesh with Rosenthal’s report that the Indians are looking to add younger talent.

Additionally, it makes you wonder how the Tribe’s front office views the future.

The Indians could trade Corey Kluber and would still be the favorites to win the Central in 2019. What happens in the postseason, will happen. But perhaps  the front office playing the long game, taking a step back in 2019 in order to go all in 2020 and 2021 (the last year Francisco Lindor is under club control).

Something to think about, but I doubt it. Every year you qualify for the postseason, you’ve got to go for it. Chris Antonetti, having been around in 2007, knows that. That team was picked to win the Central in 2008, but was out of playoff contention after the first three weeks of the season.

Verdugo is a player of interest. I’d take Pederson, although it’d be hard to accept him in a trade for Kluber if Verdugo’s the center piece.

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I feel a move is coming at some point this winter, though. there’s simply too big a need in the outfield to do nothing.



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