“There is almost no chance” the Indians deal ace right-hander Corey Kluber before pitchers and catchers report to Cleveland’s Spring Training camp on Thursday, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports. This would seemingly close on the door entirely on a Kluber trade, as Morosi notes that “it’s believed that the team won’t be receptive to active trade conversations during Spring Training,” and talks also wouldn’t take place during the season unless the Tribe fell out of contention by the July trade deadline.
Rumors have swirled around Kluber for months, since news broke in early November that the Indians were open to discussing any of their veteran players in an effort to cut payroll. Beyond Kluber, names such as Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Kipnis, Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso, and Yan Gomes were also floated as potential trade chips. As the offseason progressed, the Tribe ended up dealing Alonso, Encarnacion and Gomes (while solidifying Carrasco as a long-term piece by signing him to an extension).
With some financial breathing room established, there seemed to be less chance that Kluber or Bauer would also be dealt. Cleveland’s high asking price also surely played a role, as the Tribe reportedly would only move either pitcher for a prospect package akin to what the White Sox received from the Red Sox for Chris Sale. The Reds, Yankees, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Brewers, and Dodgers were all rumored to be discussing Kluber at one point or another this winter, though barring a late-breaking change of heart, it doesn’t seem like the two-time Cy Young Award winner is going anywhere.