For the better part of the past two months, the Cleveland Indians have been linked to trade rumors involving Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer. But as the new year approaches, the Indians have yet to deal either starting pitcher.
And according to a new report, that might not be changing anytime soon.
Per Anthony Castrovince of the MLB Network, it's now unlikely that either Kluber or Bauer will be traded before the Opening Day. With the Indians having cleared somewhere between $18 million and $21 million via trades including Yan Gomes, Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso, the pressure for the team appears to to have been alleviated, thus keeping one of the best pitching staffs in baseball intact.
"Things are always in movement this time a year, we know that," Castrovince said on the MLB Network, via MLB.com's Manny Randhawa. "There's always one phone call that can be made and change everything."
To this point, however, such call has yet to come Cleveland's way. After initially having been linked to the New York Yankees, rumors have touted the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres as potential trade partners.
The latest rumblings involved Cleveland sending Kluber to the Padres in exchange for a package of young Major League players and no top prospect seemed somewhat underwhelming, given Kluber's status as a 2-time Cy Young Award winner. According to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, the Indians would receive one or more of outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe and catcher Austin Hedges in a potential deal.
With the salary they've cleared, the Indians now have the luxury of declining such deals -- although that's not to say they're done dealing. Given the players they've lost via trades and free agency, it may still make sense to trade one of Kluber or Bauer in an effort to bolster their lineup while still maintaining a strong pitching staff.
But for now, Cleveland appears intent on keeping both Kluber and Bauer, each of whom earned All-Star selections in 2018. As Castrovince noted, all it would take is one call to change that, but thus far, such call has yet to been made.