Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Rumor: According to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian, Mark Trumbo is a potential trade target for the Indians this offseason, and Corey Kluber could anchor the return package.
Explanation: In Bastian's article, he notes that when Angels GM Jerry Dipoto was asked about the rumored Kluber for Trumbo swap, he replied with, "If that's the case, count me as the most shocked."
Though it seems like a resounding no, there still could be some validity to this rumor. The fit is there on both sides of the deal, as the Indians could use a power-hitting first baseman. Meanwhile, the Angels could desperately use a pitcher like Kluber who is young, cheap and under team control for several more years.
The Indians ranked right in the middle of the AL pack in home runs last season—per Baseball-Reference.com. Additionally, the team's most frequent lineup featured five left-handed hitters and four right-handed hitters.
The addition of Trumbo would certainly help bring power and balance to the Indians order. The 27-year-old owns 95 home runs over his first 460 games and a 162-game average of 33 home runs.
On the other side of the deal, Kluber could slot in well as the Angels No. 3 starter.
The young righty made 26 appearances and 24 starts—the most of his big league career—and allowed 3.85 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP over 147.1 innings pitched. Kluber's per-nine ratios were outstanding, as he averaged 8.3 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 9.3 H/9 and 0.9 HR/9.
Additionally, at 27 years of age, Kluber would be the second youngest member of the Angels rotation, as he's just one year older than potential No. 5 starter Tommy Hanson.
The acquisition of Trumbo would likely require an additional player, as he's surely worth more than a 27-year-old No. 3 starter. However, the addition of a prospect like Tyler Naquin could make this deal a reality.
Although Dipoto shot the deal down rather effortlessly, don't be surprised if the trade talks progress as we move toward the Winter Meetings.