5. Explore trading Kluber
Take it easy. I said “explore” trading Kluber.
His postseason outing left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, but he’s still a two-time Cy Young Award winner who just won 20 games.
So, what’s the hurry to get rid of him?
The truth is the Indians aren’t going to sign big free agents. They’ve got to be creative in how they bring in talent.
And judging by the Astros series, they need a lot of help.
That leaves the Tribe with making trades as the only avenue to dramatically improve heading into next season, and that’s why they must, at the very least, explore dealing Kluber.
He’s one of the top three pitchers in baseball and he’s got an extremely team friendly contract.
If the Indians get overwhelmed with an offer, and I mean OVERWHELMED, they can potentially upgrade their outfield, among other areas, heading into 2019.
Kluber has three years left remaining on his deal. He’ll be 35 during the final year of the contract.
Frankly, the front office should be a little concerned about what they’ve seen from Kluber in the postseason. He was stellar during the 2016 postseason up through Game 7 of the World Series, but has been awful the past two years against the Yankees and Astros.
The consensus was that he was hurt in 2017. There are no rumors of injury this time around. He was just ineffective.
Perhaps his age and ineffectiveness toward the end of the season play a factor in the Indians decision to trade him.
If they do deal him, the Indians will still be in great shape in the AL Central. No team appears to be a serious contender next season and the Indians will still be good enough to win the division behind a rotation of Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber.