After entertaining trade calls and offers for their starting pitchers Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, the Cleveland Indians are pretty confident they’re done even considering moving one of them right now.
The Indians are far from a perfect team, with the Indians settling on some positions and players due to their need of staying below the $90’ish million wage bill limit (self imposed). But they believe that through this four man group of starting pitchers, all below the age of 30, they have a chance to be more than just a talented team, but with the right additions and developments, contend.
They were in this mindset for most of the offseason, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t willing to listen to offers. In the end, no one was willing to pay a very high price the Indians demanded for their players, with Salazar and Carrasco being the ones who drew most of the interest. The Cincinnati Reds were the biggest pursuers, having a lot they’re looking to offload and interested in talent that’s not expensive and should be able to bloom in 2017, but nothing materialized.
Another group of players the Indians thought of trading were their best prospects: Clint Frazier, Bradley Zimmer, Rob Kaminsky. The trio, among others in the booming with talent farm system, were hot commodities for a minute or two with the Indians trying to see if they can pull off an interesting move. Just like with their rotation guys, they decided against breaking up what could be the basis of their future.
Kluber, 29, was the Cy Young winner in 2014. Last season he had a 3.49 ERA with a 1.054 WHIP (career best), leading the American League in complete games with 4. Bauer, 24, had a 4.55 ERA and a 1.313 WHIP (career best), once again taking a step forward, but still being far from a trustworthy, number one or number two type pitcher. Carrasco was in the Cy Young voting for the first time in his career after posting a 3.63 ERA and a 1.073 WHIP in something of a down season for him compared to 2014. Salazar was probably the best of the group in 2015 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.130 WHIP.