Cleveland Indians: 5 Potential Landing Spots For Trevor Bauer
The fun is just beginning. The MLB offseason is currently in its infancy, but we have already seen some big names change uniforms. The Seattle Mariners traded their ace James Paxton to the New York Yankees. The Atlanta Braves signed former AL MVP Josh Donaldson and former All-Star catcher Brian McCann. With the Winter Meetings just under two weeks away, things are truly about to heat up. So that begs the question, who moves next? Could it be Trevor Bauer of the Cleveland Indians?
It is no secret that the Indians need to make some moves to improve after being swept out of the ALDS last season by the Houston Astros. Their outfield is in need of some serious upgrades. It might be time to move on from Jason Kipnis at second base. The bullpen is set to lose Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.
In order to improve some of those areas, the team could look to deal from its main area of strength, their starting rotation. With the emergence of names like Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger, there has been plenty of speculation already surrounding Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer.
And of the three, it sounds like the arbitration that lies ahead for Bauer could lead to him being the one to move.
Teams talking to the Cleveland #Indians say the Indians are much more inclined to trade Trevor Bauer than Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco. Bauer has 2 years of club control left, but the only one of the starters with cost uncertainty. He has two arbitration years left before FA.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 27, 2018
So that begs the question, who could be in the market for a soon to be 28-year-old right-hander coming off a season in which he sported a 2.21 ERA and struck out 221 batters over the course of 175 and third innings? The answer, plenty of teams.
But to help narrow the possibilities, let’s focus on teams who could match up well with Cleveland in a potential deal. Without further ado, here are five possible destinations for Trevor Bauer, should the Cleveland Indians decide to deal him.
The team connected to almost every big name this Winter is none other than the Philadelphia Phillies. A team with plenty of money to spend, the Phils have a young core that might just be a piece or two away from a postseason run. With Patrick Corbin recently making a visit to Citizens Bank Ballpark, it is clear Philadelphia is looking for upgrades in their rotation.
They clearly have the payroll space to account for Bauer’s eventually rising pay. They also have an abundance of offensive players, including outfielders. Between Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr, the Phils could certainly move on from one of them. It’s doubtful the Phillies would move Scott Kingery, if the team signs Manny Machado, maybe the Tribe can convince them to part with the young infielder.
Los Angeles Dodgers
After two seasons of falling short in the World Series, expect the Dodgers to make a few changes. While they might appear to be just fine in their starting rotation, three-fifths of it are entering their contract years. So if the team wants to plan for the future, adding someone of Bauer’s talent would be a solid first step, and the team could then look to lock him up past his arbitration years.
In terms of players who could be headed back to Cleveland, the Dodgers do have a few players on the MLB roster who could make an immediate impact in the Indians lineup. Yasiel Puig would give Cleveland a 20+ homer bat to plug into the middle of the order. He is in a contract season, so he might not be the most appealing option for the Tribe. Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor are two names that could always offer an offensive boost, but would certainly require a prospect or two, in addition, to make it a fair deal.
The other day we talked about how the Brewers are in desperate need of upgrading their starting rotation. The team that the Dodgers eliminated in the NLCS, the Brew Crew are clearly close to being championship caliber. If they can add the right pieces to the rotation, they could be a force to be reckoned with.
Domingo Santana is the first name that comes to mind. Despite coming off a down season in which he was relegated to backup duty, he has proven he can be a 30+ homer hitter in the Majors. The team could try to see what Cleveland thinks on names such as Keon Broxton or Tyrone Taylor as well. Arguably the team who needs Bauer the most, the Brewers certainly have the means to pull off such a move.
This might be arguably the most interesting option. The Cubs are a team that is in need of shaking things up. As things stand, their rotation seems pretty full without any obvious holes. However, an addition of Bauer could open the club up to move someone like Jose Quintana to address some other needs.
They also have a plethora of offensive players that could intrigue the Indians as well. Ian Happ, who is capable of playing both the outfielder and multiple infield positions, is 24 and has five years of control. Kyle Schwarber is nearly 26, and under control for three years, and would offer some serious thump to the order. David Bote, Albert Almora, and if the teams really want to go the blockbuster route, Kris Bryant, could also be in play in such a deal.
Entering the 2018 season as World Series champs, the Astros had plenty to live up to. Throughout most of the season, the team was defined by their starting rotation, which saw only five men toe the rubber to start games for the vast majority of the season. But times have changed. Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are now free agents, and Lance McCullers is lost for the 2019 season due to Tommy John. So adding a starting pitcher or two is going to be a priority this Winter.
Kyle Tucker is certainly a name that will be of interest to Cleveland. The Astros gave the soon to be 22-year-old outfielder his first taste of the bigs a season ago. Regarded as one of the top prospects in the game, Tucker would certainly be the type of player Cleveland would immediately ask for if they opt to go more of the prospect route instead of a proven MLB name in return for Bauer, or any of their arms.
There you have it. The Cleveland Indians will have plenty of suitors for their starters, should they decide to pull the trigger on moving any of them. If it is, in fact, Trevor Bauer that they deal, this writer’s gut says he ends up in the City of Brotherly Love.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments!
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