MLB Trade Rumors: Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber on Block After Carlos Carrasco Deal

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2018

Cleveland Indians' Corey Kluber goes into his windup against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The Cleveland Indians are reportedly "increasingly motivated" to deal Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber after signing fellow starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco to a three-year, $37.5 million contract extension.  

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported the update Thursday, noting the MLB trade market is "extremely active" with teams looking to upgrade their rotations.

Kluber is coming off another terrific season. He had a 2.89 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 222 strikeouts in 215 innings across 33 starts.

The 32-year-old Alabama native has been one of the American League's top starters over the past six years. He's earned three straight All-Star Game selections and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014 and 2017.

His 31.0 WAR since the start of 2014 ranks first among all MLB pitchers, per FanGraphs.

The only real concern with Kluber is his workload. He's racked up five consecutive seasons with at least 200 innings pitched, and that's always going to raise questions about potential arm trouble, though the right-hander has continued to perform at a high level.

Jon Morosi of the MLB Network reported Tuesday that the Cincinnati Reds are one team with interest in Kluber and could also be a player for Bauer.

The 27-year-old UCLA product doesn't feature Kluber's track record, but he's coming off a breakout 2018 season that saw him post a 2.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 221 strikeouts in 175.1 innings.

Those numbers paired with the fact he's under team control for two more years via arbitration figure to make him a hot commodity for teams seeking a more cost-controlled option.

Last month, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Tribe were "much more inclined" to deal Bauer than Kluber or Carrasco, who's now likely off the table after signing his new deal.

If the Indians do move one of their prized starters, they figure to seek upgrades in the outfield and bullpen, two weak points of an otherwise championship-caliber roster.

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