Dodgers Beat writer Ken Gurnick has been running his annual “Inbox” editorial series over at Dodgers.com. In the series, Gurnick answers questions from fans and provides insight on a number of topics.
In a recent post, the writer was asked if the Dodgers have a preferred trade target. Here is Kenny G’s reply.
Not sure if they do, but I do: Cleveland pitcher Corey Kluber. There was plenty of chatter last winter about the Dodgers asking for Kluber and the Indians asking for outfielder Alex Verdugo. That trade still makes sense.
Active players' career ERA:
Clayton Kershaw LAD 2.441
Jacob deGrom NYM 2.622
Chris Sale BOS 3.026
Madison Bumgarner SF 3.130
Corey Kluber CLE 3.160
Stephen Strasburg WAS 3.165
Max Scherzer WAS 3.195
Gerrit Cole HOU 3.216
David Price BOS 3.308
Justin Verlander HOU 3.329 pic.twitter.com/iaVvUhfbnb
— LIGER48 (@SOULFOOD48) November 20, 2019
The idea of a Corey Kluber trade has once again been brought up in rumors and speculation. Moreover, with Los Angeles being linked heavily to another Cleveland trade target in Francisco Lindor, the blockbuster idea starts to make a little more sense.
Let’s let Gurnick do the heavy lifting on the numbers and notes surrounding Kluber.
Kluber has only one year left on his contract at $17.5 million (plus a 2021 option for $18 million or a $1 million buyout) and he’s coming off a season ruined by a broken arm when he was hit by a line drive. — The Indians must believe he’s healthy, because they picked up the 2020 option on the $17.5 million salary.
Additionally, Kluber can be under team control through the 2021 season on an $18M club option. If $35.5M sounds like a lot for two seasons (it is, in real life), consider the fact that superstar free agent Gerrit Cole is reportedly looking for that per season.
Upwards of $35.5M for a two-time American League Cy Young award winner is a fairly solid bargain in this climate — especially when noting he was a 20-game winner as recently as 2017 and owns a lifetime 3.16 ERA with a 2.99 FIP over 9 seasons.
In the event that Cleveland and Los Angeles match up on a trade — and believe me, it would be the event of the off-season — there will be a lot of shock on the Dodgers side of the fan base. With names like Lindor and/or Kluber potentially on the move, LA prospects like Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, DJ Peters and others are likely to be mentioned going back.
Who are your Top 5 untouchable Dodgers, prospects included? pic.twitter.com/gk6DaOWijE
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) November 20, 2019
Gurnick points to Verdugo as someone potentially on the move…
Verdugo showed his talent, but left the Dodgers perplexed when he didn’t play after Aug. 4 because of a vaguely defined injury.
…but I personally think the front office finally getting a glimpse of what the outfielder can do firmly entrenched him in their plans going forward.