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MLB Roundup 12/16: Indians trade Corey Kluber to the Rangers

And the Diamondbacks sign a former rival

Cleveland Indians v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Indians deal Corey Kluber to Texas

On a relatively quiet Saturday, the biggest news of the day was that a team (the Angels) had taken themselves out of the Corey Kluber trade talks. That signaled that a deal with someone must be close, because why else take yourself out of trade talks. Sure enough, he was dealt Sunday morning, with Cleveland shipping the two-time Cy Young winner to Texas. It is, however, still puzzling why the Angels took themselves out of the running, because it sure didn’t cost much to get Kluber. Cleveland is getting reliever prospect Emmanuel Clase and center field Delino DeShields Jr. Clase, to be fair, has outstanding stuff and many project him to be a future closer, though I would point out that A) that label is always tenuous and B) his strikeout rates in the minors haven’t really jumped off the page. Still, just watch a few of his pitches and you see where the optimism comes from. DeShields is a fourth outfielder who will likely be miscast as something close to an everyday player for the Rangers.

For Texas, they get a bargain of a deal for a pitcher with a huge track record. Obviously, there is real risk with Kluber as he was both injured and ineffective in 2019. The flip side is that the injury was a fluke — he was struck by a line drive that broke his arm — and the poor performance came in only 35 23 innings with signs of potential bad luck. There is no guarantee he is good and he’s almost certainly not going to be the Kluber of old, but the Rangers got him for a good relief prospect and a solid bench piece. They have been aggressive in rebuilding a rotation that featured Mike Minor, Lance Lynn and a whole lot of nothing. Their roster is not complete, but they are clearly going for it.

Rangers Perspective

Indians Perspective

Sox Spin: There are a few things to point out here. For one, this is just another piece of evidence that Boston is not getting anything for Price. Price is more expensive, and while he was better in 2019 expanding the sample a bit more gives the edge to Kluber. If this is what Kluber costs, it doesn’t bode well for the Red Sox. There is also the fact that Texas is both eliminated from the Price trade talk — they have five starters now, so unless they trade Minor or Lynn they don’t have room for Price — but also are now bigger players for Jackie Bradley Jr. Bradley isn’t their only play in center field — they can move Gallo over or, more likely, target a free agent like Kevin Pillar — but without DeShields there isn’t a real center fielder on that roster.

Diamondbacks sign Madison Bumgarner

At one point there were rumors that Madison Bumgarner was being targeted by the Dodgers, a move that would have destroyed Giants fans. So, in a way, this next part is good news. On Sunday, the San Francisco legend signed with different division rival, agreeing to a five-year, $85 million deal with the Diamondbacks. This one sort of came out of nowhere, with the Diamondbacks just being a confusing team in general. Bumgarner, of course, comes just a few months after they traded Zack Greinke. Now, they are paying less here plus they got some prospects, but it’s still an unusual situation. Nonetheless, the Diamondbacks are better today than they were yesterday, and they are shooting for a crowded NL Wildcard picture.

Sox Spin: It seems like every move has some sort of connection the David Price, and this is no exception. Arizona hasn’t been speculated as a potential landing spot, but teams like the Dodgers, Cardinals and Angels have been. Bumgarner going somewhere that wasn’t a potential Price landing spot only helps Boston’s hopes of trading him.