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#pounditMonday, January 18, 2021

Report: Indians discussing Mike Clevinger trade with White Sox

Mike Clevinger

The Cleveland Indians are entertaining trade inquiries about star pitcher Mike Clevinger, and apparently they are not opposed to sending him to a division rival.

The Indians have been involved in active discussions about trading Clevinger to the Chicago White Sox, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports. The White Sox are currently just one game behind the Indians in the AL Central, which makes the trade talks even more surprising.

On paper, a trade between the two teams makes sense. Cleveland has a very deep rotation but could use another bat, while the White Sox really only have three reliable starting pitchers in Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel and Dylan Cease. However, the Indians are said to be seeking a massive haul in any potential trade involving Clevinger, and their asking price could be even higher for Chicago.

Nightengale speculates that the White Sox would have to include outfielder Adam Engel and possibly pitching prospect Michael Kopech in any Clevinger deal. Engel is hitting .255 this season and may be expendable after Chicago added Jarrod Dyson earlier in the week. The 24-year-old Kopech is recovering from Tommy John surgery and opted out of the 2020 season.

Clevinger made his return to the Indians’ rotation on Wednesday night after he spent some time off the active roster due to a violation of team rules. Clevinger and fellow starting pitcher Zach Plesac had to quarantine and were then optioned to an alternate site when they broke health and safety protocols by going out to dinner during a road trip. Clevinger did not reveal that he went out with Plesac until after he traveled home with the team.

Plesac was told this week that the Indians do not have a spot for him to return to the MLB rotation at the moment.

Clevinger has been one of the best pitchers in the majors for several seasons now. He’s 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four starts this season. The 29-year-old is not eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.

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