The Indians Really Wouldn’t Trade Kluber or Bauer……Would they?

Daniel Corrigan | December 3rd, 2018

Reports are coming everywhere that the Indians have had discussions with many teams, including the Dodgers and Yankees about potentially parting ways with two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and noted twitter warrior, Trevor Bauer.

Why Trade At All?

When I first saw this report, I was absolutely dumbfounded. Since I am an Indians fan, this just made no sense to me. Our whole identity is our pitching staff. If you ignore the bullpen, the Indians probably have the best staff in the bigs.

So why would they do this? The Indians still have a great team. Their core of Lindor, Ramirez, Kluber, and their other pitchers are still under control for at least the next two years. It’s actually a pretty interesting concept. Let’s dive into that.

So here is the thought process. Last year, the Indians had four pitchers (Kluber, Bauer, Carrasco, and Clevinger) who recorded 200+ strikeouts in a single season, an MLB record. Its safe to say the Indians have about three to four aces on their staff. Now we have to look at areas of weakness for the tribe. Their outfield and the bullpen. So taking a player like Kluber or Bauer and dealing them for an outfielder, a bullpen arm, and possibly a utility guy makes your team deeper and more primed to make another World Series run.

Which One?

Now, who do they trade? The Indians, as I type this, are discussing an extension with Carrasco. So that leaves Kluber and Bauer. Let’s look at their contract situation. Kluber has a year at $17 million and then two team options worth $17.5 and $18 million respectively. So you have control with Kluber. If you’re a contender, this is a perfect trade to make. Bauer is a different story. He is under arbitration for the next two years. So it’s not clear what he will cost. I’m estimating that Bauer will make roughly 12 million this year. Now the problem with Bauer. He is a knucklehead. I love every part of him. In a way, he reminds me a lot of myself. He made a bet with some friends that for his entire career he would only sign one-year deals. If he ever signed for multiple years, he would be shot with a paintball gun right in the jimmies. So with Bauer, you don’t have the long-term security.

Who should they trade? Should they even trade? Personally, I want Kluber and Bauer to be Cleveland Indians forever. BUT….. If it has to be someone, it should be Kluber. That hurt a little to type. Kluber is one of the best players in Indians history. He is phenomenal. We have to look at the situation. We are more than fine with our starting pitching. Our outfield, bullpen, and even catchers are not very good right now. With likely departures from Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, and Michael Brantley there are so many gaps to fill. I have actually worked out a trade that I personally think would help us out a lot for the next two years.

The Needs

The rumor is the Dodgers are in talks with the Indians. If Puig is not in the conversation, hang up the phone. I would want a proven MLB player like Puig, and then Alex Wood. I think he would work well in the bullpen. Then I would either want a catching prospect (Keibert Ruiz) or another bullpen arm.

Really, all we need is a quality outfielder, a prospect (preferably a catcher) and then a bullpen arm or a starter like Alex Wood. You can’t go wrong with a trade unless you don’t get an everyday player and a couple of pitching arms.

Should they trade him? I would say no. Should they trade any of their core? no. These are all theories and chit chat right now. The Indians need to not be scared and spend some freaking money. They are way too cheap to be able to contend. If you don’t want to spend money, then these trades don’t even matter.

Questions and comments?

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