Last week, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported the Cleveland Indians are willing to listen to trade offers for any player on their roster aside from Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred and the MLB Network, the New York Yankees want to talk.
As the MLB offseason gets underway, the Yankees are already scheduled for a Tuesday meeting with the Indians, where Cleveland’s willingness to trade some of its top players figures to be a primary topic of conversation. In particular, New York is reportedly interested in acquiring at least one or both of the Indians’ top two pitchers: Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.
According to Heyman, the impetus behind the Indians looking to trade Kluber and/or Carrasco is an attempt to reduce its current payroll of $145 million. In particular, while Kluber appears to be on a reasonable contract with $17 million owed in 2019, salary escalators for the 2-time Cy Young award winner could become a potential problem for Cleveland in the near future.
After winning the Cy Young Award for the second time in his career in 2017, Kluber has been named a finalist for the same award in 2018 after compiling a 20-7 regular season record to go along with a 2.89 ERA and 222 strikeouts. Carrasco, meanwhile, went 17-10 in 2018, while posting a 3.38 ERA and a career-high 231 strikeouts.
Although losing either pitcher — let alone both — would be a big hit for the Indians, their rotation could very well remain a strong one in 2019. Barring any additional trades to the staff, Cleveland is currently slated to bring back starters Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber in the coming year.
In addition to Kluber and Carrasco, the Indians could also listen to offers for players such as Edwin Encarnacion, Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes this offseason.
© 2018 WKYC