Los Angeles Angels interested in trading for Corey Kluber
The Angels have expressed interest in trading for Indians right-hander Corey Kluber, sources tell The Athletic. The club has prioritized its pursuit of Anthony Rendon, but they’re exploring all options.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) December 12, 2019
Kluber made just seven starts at the start of the 2019 season before he was sidelined due to a forearm injury. He was expected to return in September, but he suffered an oblique injury prior to a rehab start that effectively ended his season for good.
The 33-year-old was one of the very best pitchers in baseball between 2014 and 2018, ranking third in fWAR behind just Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw while also winning a pair of American League Cy Young Awards in 2014 and 2018.
Cleveland has a surplus of homegrown pitching talent and still boasted one of the better rotations in the game despite Kluber and Carlos Carrasco missing nearly the entire season. The Indians are looking to cut payroll any way that they can with shortstop Francisco Lindor’s free agency on the horizon.
Kluber is due to make $17.5 million this year and has a club option for next season, so he has incredible value. Meanwhile, the Angels finished dead-last in the MLB in starting rotation fWAR and second-to-last in ERA last season, so the need for starting pitchers is clear and obvious.
Acquiring Kluber might purge the Angels of their best prospect (outfielder Jo Adell), but it could be worth it they also figure to sign Anthony Rendon and another top pitcher still on the market.
Kluber is a person of interest this offseason. Do not count out the Halos, who are desperate to win now and need to make moves after missing out on Gerrit Cole.