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Dodgers Rumors: LA 'Very Aggressive,' Pursuing Betts, Lindor, Clevinger Trades

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 26: Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger #52 celebrates with shortstop Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians as Clevenger leaves the game during the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on May 26, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers "are being very aggressive" regarding a possible trade for Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

The Dodgers also have an open line of communication with the Boston Red Sox regarding star outfielder Mookie Betts.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday the Indians were asking interested suitors for their "best and final offers" regarding a Lindor trade.

Cleveland traded veteran ace Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. and reliever Emmanuel Clase. The move helped the Indians shed payroll as Kluber is set to earn $17.5 million in 2020. DeShields, meanwhile, is projected to get $2.4 million in arbitration, per Spotrac.

That would seemingly give the team less incentive to move Lindor, who's projected to make $16.7 million.

Kluber's departure makes Clevinger more valuable as well if the Indians want to remain a contender next year. The fanbase would already be upset enough were Cleveland to trade away Lindor. Including Clevinger in the trade package would indicate a rebuild is in store.

Nightengale reported Dec. 11 the Indians were looking to receive middle infielder Gavin Lux and starting pitcher Dustin May in return for Lindor. Lux and May are the No. 2 and 32-ranked prospects on MLB.com, so landing both would probably be tough without adding Clevinger to the deal.

Rosenthal reported the Dodgers would be hesitant to trade Lux because they believe his potential could match what Lindor is providing now.

Betts' future has been the subject of rumors and speculation ever since Red Sox ownership indicated it planned to stay under the luxury tax in 2020. Betts is projected to make $27.7 million in his final year of arbitration before hitting free agency in 2021.

ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to a "high-ranking" executive who expected Lindor and Betts to change teams this offseason.

It doesn't appear the Red Sox have set an artificial deadline for a proposed Betts trade.