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#pounditSunday, September 20, 2020

Articles tagged: Cleveland Indians

Report: Indians place high asking price on starting pitchers

Corey Kluber

Though rumors continue to fly that the Cleveland Indians will deal one of two leading starting pitchers, neither will come cheap.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the asking price on both Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer is “very, very high,” though both players could be acquired for the right return.

Olney notes that the Houston Astros, who are in danger of losing Dallas Keuchel as a free agent, are interested in starting pitching and could be a potential trade partner.

Cleveland is sending some mixed signals at this point. The asking price is high, but there is motivation to make a move. Perhaps, at least for the moment, they believe they’ll be able to entice someone to give up a lot in return for one of their big arms.

Indians reportedly ‘increasingly motivated’ to trade Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer

Corey Kluber

The Cleveland Indians locked up one of their most reliable starting pitchers on Thursday when they signed Carlos Carrasco to a multi-year extension, and that could make it even more likely that they trade Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Indians are “increasingly motivated” to trade either Kluber or Bauer now that they have signed Carrasco to a new deal. With Patrick Corbin having signed with the Washington Nationals, the trade market for starting pitching is said to be heating up.

Carrasco is more affordable than Kluber, though the former Cy Young Award winner is still under contract with what many would consider a team-friendly deal. Kluber, who finished third in the AL Cy Young voting this year, is owed $17 million in 2019 and has club options of $15.5 million and $16 million in 2020 and 2021. He went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA in 2018.

Bauer is also coming off an outstanding season in which he went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA in 28 starts.

We have already heard of multiple teams that have engaged the Indians in trade discussions involving Kluber and Bauer, but the return would have to be significant. Cleveland is trying to trim payroll heading into 2019, but neither pitcher is making an insane amount of money.

Report: Nationals seriously discussing Yan Gomes trade with Indians

Yan Gomes

The Washington Nationals are nearing a deal to add their second catcher of the offseason.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Nationals are close to a deal to acquire catcher Yan Gomes from the Cleveland Indians. It’s unclear what the Nationals would be giving up in return.

According to Rosenthal, the aim would be to pair Gomes with Kurt Suzuki, who was signed earlier this month.

Gomes is signed through 2021, so he probably won’t come cheap. Though dealing with injuries, he still hit .266 with 16 home runs in 112 games for Cleveland last season.

Indians reportedly talking contract extension with Carlos Carrasco

Cleveland Indians logo

The Cleveland Indians are looking to trade a starting pitcher, but it seems like Carlos Carrasco may not be the one dealt.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Carrasco are in talks about a contract extension. Carrasco is under team control for $20 million through 2020 thanks to a club option.

Rosenthal says the Indians told Carrasco they would not trade him if he accepted an extension. That leaves Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer as the likely trade candidates. Bauer has one more year of service time than Kluber, meaning he could be more likely to be dealt.

The Dodgers are among the teams that have engaged the Indians in trade talks. Perhaps something like Trevor Bauer for Yasiel Puig could be in the cards.

Carrasco turns 32 before next season. He was 17-10 with a 3.38 ERA in 192 innings in 2018. Carrasco has posted five straight winning seasons with an ERA no higher than 3.63.

Dodgers, Indians reportedly discussing trade for top starting pitcher

Corey Kluber

The Indians are looking to shed payroll this winter and are reportedly open to trading one of their top starting pitchers, and the Dodgers are among the teams that are interested in Cleveland’s assets.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Indians and Dodgers have had ongoing trade discussions that are likely centered around Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco.

In addition to the Dodgers, Morosi reports that the Brewers and Braves have also inquired about the Indians’ arms.

Kluber is scheduled to make $17 million in 2019, which sounds like a bargain after he finished third in Cy Young voting this season. The 32-year-old posted a 20-7 record and a 2.89 ERA after going 18-4 record with a 2.25 ERA in 2017. He has club options of $15.5 million and $16 million in 2020 and 2021, so the return for him would have to be very significant.

The Indians are also said to be looking to deal some of their top position players, so it would be a surprise if they don’t make a big move at some point.

10 MLB teams in need of a big offseason

Theo Epstein Cubs

The MLB offseason is already underway, as proven by the New York Yankees’ major acquisition of James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners. Still, the largest dominoes have yet to fall, and it may be another week or two — if not more — before that begins happening.

Thus, teams are, in a sense, still positioning themselves for the offseason. Payrolls are being plotted and free agents are being explored, while the trade market begins to come to life as well. But some teams, for a variety of reasons, need to be more active than others given the places where their franchises are.

Here are ten teams who are facing very important offseasons for the future of their franchise.

10. San Francisco Giants

The Giants find themselves in a precarious position a year after an eventful offseason saw them go all-in to contend in 2018. They ended up losing 89 games thanks to injury and underperformance from some of their bigger names. Now, new president Farhan Zaidi is tasked with charting a path forward. How he handles this offseason could tell us a lot. The Giants can spend if they want to, but it seems unlikely that another free agent will put them over the top. Such a signing could ultimately hinder them in the long run. Alternately, they could try to dismantle some of their valuable pieces, but that would prove controversial. It’s a big decision that will have long-lasting impacts.

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Report: Indians will listen to trade offers for Corey Kluber, other players

Corey Kluber

The Cleveland Indians are facing some financial constraints heading into the 2019 season, and they may have to part ways with one or more of their core players in order to keep their payroll where it needs to be.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Indians will listen to trade offers this winter for several of their veteran players, most notably 2017 Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. They will also field calls from teams interested in starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, slugger Edwin Encarnacion and second basmeman Jason Kipnis.

Kluber is scheduled to make $17 million in 2019, which sounds like a bargain after he put together another Cy Young-caliber season in 2018. The 32-year-old finished with a 20-7 record and a 2.89 ERA after posting an 18-4 record and 2.25 ERA in 2017.

Encarnacion, who belted 32 homers and drove in 107 RBI this season, will turn 36 this winter and is owed $21.67 million in 2019. It makes sense that the Indians want to unload him, and the same could be said for the 31-year-old Kipnis, who is on the books for $14.7 million and hit a career-low .230 in 147 games.

Kluber has club options of $15.5 million and $16 million in 2020 and 2021, so there should be plenty of teams interested in the right-hander.

The Indians are also not expected to extend qualifying offers to several top free agents this winter, so they could have a much different look when the 2019 season begins.

Indians not planning to extend qualifying offers to top free agents

Cleveland Indians logo

The Cleveland Indians may be in for some roster shuffling this offseason.

The Indians are not planning to extend qualifying offers to some of their top impending free agents. The Athletic’s Zack Meisel reported on Friday that they will not be extending qualifying offers to Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

Miller, 33, was a dominant force for the Indians in 2016 and 2017, but he wasn’t the same in 2018. He went 2-4 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.

Allen, 29, was a valuable part of the team’s excellent bullpen and had 122 saves with a 2.69 ERA from 2012-2017. Similar to Miller, he tanked last season, going 4-6 with 27 saves with a 4.70 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

Brantley, who turns 32 in May, had a nice season batting .309 with 36 doubles and 17 home runs. But the Indians are not planning to bring him back on the qualifying offer price.

The qualifying offer price for 2019 is expected to be just under $18 million. In the past, teams could mostly count on players turning down qualifying offers to pursue long-term contracts, but after so few players got the long-term deals they were seeking last offseason, there is a greater risk of players accepting their qualifying offers.

MLB receives backlash from Astros, Indians fans over TV schedule

Red Sox Yankees

MLB released the scheduled game times for the remainder of the division series round of the playoffs, and the schedule did not go over well with Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians fans.

The Indians and Astros are scheduled to play on Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. They play on the same days as the other ALDS, which features the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. MLB does not want the games to overlap, so they have to make a choice about who plays early and who plays late. In every case, the Astros-Indians series is scheduled to be the early game, while the Yankees and Red Sox are scheduled for later in the evening — the primetime slots. Not one Astros-Indians game is scheduled to start later than 4:37 pm ET.

The schedule reveal led to some criticism from a Cleveland media member:

Multiple fans also grumbled about the seeming lack of respect for the Astros and Indians.

The anger from the fans is understandable. Both teams have excellent players and have had recent success. The fans of both teams are passionate and excellent overall. But there is no bigger rivalry in baseball than the Red Sox and Yankees. There is no bigger draw than these two teams meeting in the postseason. It’s a dream for MLB and its TV partners to have the opportunity to televise this series, so of course they’re going to put it in primetime. MLB is making the right call here. The winner of the Indians-Astros series will have plenty of opportunities to be in primetime later.

Each MLB playoff contender’s biggest weakness

Dave Roberts

We’re into the home stretch of baseball season, and the month of September will settle the playoff races. There are plenty of teams still in it, even if the American League picture looks mostly settled, but the races promise to be exciting.

There are, however, no flawless teams. Every contender has a weakness that can be exploited, albeit some more obvious than others. Looking at teams who are presently within three games of a playoff spot — sorry, Philadelphia — here’s the Achilles’ heel that could trip up each team down the stretch or in the postseason.

Arizona Diamondbacks — Run-scoring

In a pivotal weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Diamondbacks scored just nine runs across four games, three of which they lost by one run. That sums up where Arizona’s challenge lies. Only six National League teams have scored fewer runs than Arizona has this season. It’s odd to see a lineup with Paul Goldschmidt in it struggling this much, but he, David Peralta, and A.J. Pollock are the only three Diamondbacks hitting above .250.

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