Over the past five years, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber has established himself as a true ace. Since 2014, Kluber has won two American League Cy Young Awards (2014 and 2018), has a record of 83-45, a 2.85 ERA and a bWAR of 32.5. Kluber has also been named to three All-Star games from 2016 to 2018, and had the ERA title in the American League in 2017.
Kluber is also known for going deep into games. Since 2014, Kulber has thrown 17 complete games and seven shutouts, while leading the league in complete games and shutouts three times each.
While Kluber wouldn’t fulfill the Philadelphia Phillies need for a left-handed starter (he throws right-handed ), there’s no doubt any team that wants to win would desire a player like that, and the Phillies are no different.
According to MLB.com‘s Jon Morosi, the Phillies are among the teams that have “shown interest” in Kluber. Other teams include the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers, two teams that are expected to again contend for the National League championship in 2019.
Acquiring Kluber would require giving up quite a haul. Even though Kluber will turn 33 next season, he’s on an extremely team-friendly deal, a five-year/$42.3 million deal that runs to 2019. The deal also has team options in 2020 and 2021 that are worth $17.5 and $18 million, respectively, which still appear to be a bargain for the stud pitcher.
A recent report by Morosi said that the Indians have asked the Cincinnati Reds, another team that expressed interest in Kluber, about prospects Nick Senzel and Taylor Trammell. Senzel is ranked the top Reds prospect by MLB.com, with Trammell ranked second.
Going by that, one would assume the Phillies would need to be prepared to part with top prospects Sixto Sanchez or Adonis Medina, something they may not be so opposed to if they’re getting All-Star talent back. The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal recently reported that the Phillies had been floating Sanchez’s name around, and back in July, Morosi had said the Phillies were ready to include Medina in trade talks for Manny Machado.
It’s not known how serious the Phillies interest in Kluber is, as they are still currently preoccupied with the free agent duo of Bryce Harper and Machado, the latter of which is scheduled for a visit at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday. Of course, the Phillies could very well sign one of the two free agents in addition to trading for Kluber, which would more than signal their intent to challenge for the National League East crown (and more) in the coming seasons.
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