The Cleveland Indians might not trade one of their aces after all.
After weeks of speculation and rumors revolving around the potential trades of Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, team sources told MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince that it's unlikely the Indians trade either player, although things could change if the right deal surfaces.
"Things are always in movement this time a year - we know that - there's always one phone call that can be made and change everything," Castrovince explained Thursday on MLB Network. "But obviously this club, they cleared a lot of money in trading Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso and that Edwin Encarnacion deal where some money moved around. As far as the 2019 payroll is concerned, (the Indians saved) somewhere in the realm of $18 million to $21 million.
"Not that that could necessarily cure all that ails this club, they need help in the outfield, they need help in the bullpen. But in a market that's pretty saturated with relievers, it could help them quite a bit this winter, that money they moved around. It could prevent them from having to move Kluber or Bauer, unless it's a deal that's an absolute home run for them."
The Indians had reportedly been motivated to move one of the pitchers for nearly a month. While Bauer's trade market wasn't booming, Cleveland was recently involved in trade discussions with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and Cincinnati Reds regarding Kluber.
Cleveland's ask may have been too high, though. They were looking for major-league ready talent in exchange for the two-time Cy Young winner, with the Dodgers' Alex Verdugo and Padres' Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, and Austin Hedges being mentioned as possible trade chips. There were no reports of what the Indians were seeking for Bauer.
Over eight seasons in the big leagues, Kluber has been one of MLB's top pitchers. He owns a 96-55 record with a 3.09 ERA, 2.96 FIP, and 1.07 WHIP.
Bauer posted career-best numbers in 2018, going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and 2.44 FIP in 175 1/3 innings.