On Wednesday, Jon Morosi reported that the Padres and Indians are once again talking trade. The two sides are an excellent match for a potential deal, so let’s explore a little more about the possibility of a transaction in the coming weeks.
It is no secret that the San Diego Padres are in need of starting pitching.
Rumors of Noah Syndergaard have died down, as the Mets seem content on going for it all in 2019. The asking price clearly is not what the Padres are willing to pay or the two sides would have certainly completed a trade a few weeks back when the teams were face to face at the winter meetings.
With that, it is time for the Padres to change gears.
In recent weeks and days, the Padres have reportedly turned their focus to Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays and the group of Cleveland Indians’ starting pitchers that could be made available by the Tribe. Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber seem to be the best fit for the youthful Padres in their search for front-end starters. There were some whispers of the Padres interest in Bauer, but the Kluber talk has picked up steam in the last week.
Corey Kluber would be an amazing acquisition by the Padres, as he is a true ace. There are only a handful of pitchers who can be confidently categorized as an ace, and the two-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher is clearly one of them. At 33 years of age, Kluber is in his prime right now. He would give the Padres instant credibility and do wonders for the fan base and their cries for ownership to go the extra mile.
Jon Morosi is reporting that the two sides have talked and he even mentioned a package of players that could be involved.
Sources: #Padres, #Indians having discussions about possible Corey Kluber trade. MLB-level players (one or more of Margot, Renfroe, Hedges) could be key to deal. Story: https://t.co/GDEoYIkEfh @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 26, 2018
What the Padres want
Pitching, pitching, pitching. The San Diego Padres need starting pitching, and that is exactly what the Indians have an excess of. Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, Adam Plutko, and Danny Salazar all are capable of being serviceable major league pitchers. That’s seven hurlers for five spots, and that is not counting spring training invites or young prospects in their system.
Kluber is the main interest currently to the Padres as he is under control for the next three seasons at a reasonable rate ($52.5 million). His age is a bit of a concern, but the right-handed pitcher has been extremely durable and should have no issues continuing that trend. The Indians are only considering dealing him as they are under a certain financial crunch. They also have plenty of young pitchers who could potentially step in. Kluber could be attained. But a team MUST meet the lofty asking price.
What the Indians want
The Indians need outfield help, and the Padres have several options for the Tribe, depending on what they are looking for. Cleveland needs a center fielder badly, and Manuel Margot has been mentioned as a possible player that could be of interest to the Indians. That would be a tough loss for the Padres, but when you talk about the possibility of bringing in an ace pitcher, you will need to trade players that are painful to lose.
Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes would also be of great interest to the Indians. Cleveland really does need outfielders and would probably only deal Kluber for at least a few players that are major league-ready and not due a ton of money. That rules out Wil Myers as he is still due $74 million for the next four years. The Padres could also upgrade the Indians with bullpen help as the Friars have one of the best groups in all of baseball. Then there are the pitching prospects that would most certainly be a part of a potential deal. San Diego has several players that could easily entice the Indians to look toward the future while upgrading the offense presently.
These two teams match up extremely well in a potential deal. The Padres and Indians worked together recently on a deal (Brad Hand trade) so you know both general managers are comfortable with one another. The Padres need pitching, the Indians need outfield help, and could also be upgraded multiple ways by San Diego. All this adds up, but that does not guarantee a deal is consummated.
If Cleveland really wants to part with Kluber and acquire multiple players in return, then the Padres could be their perfect trade partner. A.J. Preller is at a point where some prospects should probably be flipped for proven talent. The Padres’ front office has had ample time to evaluate some of these young men, and the next step in the process is coming. There should be some trades coming as the Padres structure their team for 2019 and beyond.