The Los Angeles Dodgers made a huge splash on the trade market last week, sending Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Alex Wood to Cincinnati in exchange for a couple of prospects and Homer Bailey. They have already released Bailey who has been extremely inconsistent throughout his big league career. The Dodgers basically got nothing out of this trade except for freeing up salary cap space and acquiring a couple promising prospects. But they definitely have a bigger plan in mind.
Many are saying that plan could be to sign one of the biggest free agents on the market this winter: Bryce Harper. He comes at a hefty price, but only time will tell if they will go after the 26-year old. The latest rumors that have surfaced are Los Angeles is very interested in putting together a trade with the Cleveland Indians for former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
Kluber has been spectacular in Cleveland. With the Indians reaching a deal with Carlos Carrasco, reports have said that Cleveland would be interested in moving Kluber in the coming weeks. The Dodgers have become the front-runners to get the righty which would be a great acquisition for LA.
The Dodgers should go all in to acquire Corey Kluber from Cleveland
Why Kluber to LA would be a great move
Kluber has been one of the most dominant starting pitchers in the game over the last few years. He has been a workhorse at the top of the Indians starting rotation, logging over 200 innings and at least 220 strikeouts in his last five seasons. Kluber holds a 2.85 ERA during that span, including an American League Cy Young award in 2017. The 32-year old has also been an All-Star every year from 2016-18.
Cleveland doesn’t play in a very strong division, and it seems they believe they can still be contenders without Kluber. They already have a solid rotation with guys like Trevor Bauer and Carrasco.
Los Angeles definitely needs a top of the line starting pitcher. Clayton Kershaw is slowly aging and doesn’t have a mid-90’s fastball anymore. Kluber is owed just over $40 million in the next three years, which is not that much considering the type of quality pitcher he is. If they had Kluber and Kershaw as a 1-2 punch in their starting rotation, that would be a lethal combination. Kershaw still has filthy stuff and is arguably one of the best pitchers to ever play this game. Kluber is as reliable as any pitcher in the majors and will eat up a ton of innings over a full season.
Kluber is a strike-throwing machine who has compiled a career 3.09 ERA across seven seasons in the bigs. He has struck out 9.8 hitters per nine innings to just 1.9 walks per nine innings throughout his career. Just like Kershaw, he has tremendous command and is a strikeout pitcher. They would compliment each other very well every fifth day in the rotation.
The Dodgers need to make some moves
Getting Kluber would be a fantastic move for the Dodgers and would make their rotation a lot stronger, but they canot stop there. They have also shown interest in Nicholas Castellanos, who will be a free agent after 2019. He enjoyed a career-best year with the Tigers last season where he hit .298 with 23 home runs. With Puig and Kemp gone, that would open up a spot for Castellanos in right field. They have also shown interest in second basemen DJ Lemahieu and arguably the best catcher in the game right now, J.T. Realmuto.
LA can either go all in and sign Bryce Harper and not worry about acquiring anybody else, or they can make moves for several players and make their team better in all aspects. Kluber is the first step to doing that by making their pitching staff even better. Harper would be a game-changer for their franchise, but he’s going to break the bank.
Getting Kluber in a trade from Cleveland is a no-brainer based on what he has done in the last five seasons in MLB. If Los Angeles also factors in the price they can get him for, there should be no doubts about making this trade.
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