Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that Cleveland was expected to trade Kluber or Bauer after signing Carlos Carrasco to an extension last week:
Either pitcher would be an upgrade to a Reds squad that is in desperate need of a front-of-the-rotation arm.
Kluber is coming off a 20-7 campaign in which he posted a 2.89 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 33 starts. The right-hander threw two complete games in 2018; Cincinnati as a team recorded only one.
The two-time American League Cy Young Award winner has won 18-plus games four times in the last five seasons and has topped the 200-inning plateau each year during that span. The Reds haven't had a 200-inning pitcher since 2014, with Luis Castillo leading the way with 169.2 innings this year.
Meanwhile, Bauer made his first All-Star team in 2018 while going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 28 appearances, including 27 starts. The right-hander struck out a career-high 221 batters while allowing just nine home runs in 175.1 innings. Avoiding the long ball is imperative at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, which makes Bauer an attractive option.
The 32-year-old Kluber is under club control for three more seasons, while the 27-year-old Bauer has just two more years remaining on his deal. Bauer revealed to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan earlier this year that he has no interest in signing multiyear deals.
Cincinnati is now five years removed from its last postseason appearance and has recorded four consecutive 94-plus-loss seasons along the way. After the rotation finished 25th in ERA and 23rd in innings pitched in 2018, the team has made it clear that adding pitching is a top priority this winter.