The San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians have been engaged in trade discussions for a front-line starting pitcher.
The Christmas season may be over, but will San Diego Padres fans have the opportunity to receive a few more gifts before spring training begins in just a month and a half? Per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, the Padres and Cleveland Indians are engaged in trade discussions for starting pitcher Corey Kluber.
General manager AJ Preller has reiterated numerous times this offseason that the organization is attempting to bring in much-needed starting pitching help and a third baseman to fill the hot corner. Rumors surrounding New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar and Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman emerged heading into Christmas, we can now add Corey Kluber to the mix.
Kluber, originally drafted by the Padres in the 4th-round of the 2007 draft, has pitched in the majors for Cleveland over parts of eight seasons. He has logged 200+ innings in each of last five seasons, accumulating two Cy Young Awards and three-straight All-Star appearances along the way.
With a career 96-55 record, 3.09 earned run average, 1.07 WHIP, and 1,423 strikeouts in 1,306 innings, Kluber would bring stability to the top of the Padres rotation in a way that fans have not seen in some time. The 32-year-old right-handed pitcher has three seasons of control left and is slated to make between $17-18 million per year over the remainder of his contract.
As Morosi points out, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been the favorites to land Kluber, with rumors connecting the two intensifying over the past few weeks. However, are the San Diego Padres serious players for Kluber? Per Morosi, yes.
The rumored deal would involve “one or more” from Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges, and Hunter Renfroe and a prospect. San Diego has been rumored to be interested in moving one of their corner outfielders to make room for Wil Myers and his return to the outfield and with an offseason injury to Franmil Reyes and steady growth from Renfroe in 2018, Renfroe has the highest trade value among all of the Padres outfielders.
With the deepest farm system in baseball at their disposal, the Padres can also add an elite level prospect to the deal (not named MacKenzie Gore or Fernando Tatis Jr. to sweeten the pot and make them instant favorites to acquire Kluber. Having a healthy Franchy Cordero and the league’s top catching prospect Francisco Mejia makes moving Margot and/or Hedges workable without suffering a significant drop off at either position.
AJ Preller was able to acquire Francisco Mejia from Cleveland in exchange for Brad Hand and rookie reliever Adam Cimber before last season’s trade deadline. Could another big trade between the two franchises be a possibility?