Cleveland Indians rumors: Reds trade talks continue; Encarnacion update

Cleveland Indians Terry Francona (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Terry Francona (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Indians rumors involving free agent Michael Brantley, trade candidate Edwin Encarnacion and talks with the Cincinnati Reds.

Day two of the winter meetings saw a quiet day on the Cleveland Indians rumors front, but that didn’t stop their free-agents from making some news.

Andrew McCutchen signed with the Phillies, basically eliminating the chances of Brantley signing a pact to bring him to Philadelphia.

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Philly is still in play on uber free agents such as Bryce Harper and Manny Macahdo.

But if one door closes…another one opens. Unfortunately, waiting behind this door for Brantley are the Chicago White Sox, who have “checked in” with left fielder, according to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark. 

Interestingly, the White Sox are rumored to be in on Harper, too. The idea of Brantley joining Harper in the same outfielder was brought to life well before the Winter Meetings, with the Phillies being the landing spot. Perhaps that dream can live on a little longer on the South Side of Chicago.

Nothing to celebrate here for Tribe fans, as there has been no talk of Brantley returning to Cleveland. No one really thought there would be, as the veteran looks to be too pricey.

• Elsewhere around the Hot Stove, the Colorado Rockies are looking at potential first-base trade candidates, according to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden.

The Indians happen to have one of those guys who goes by the name Edwin Encarnacion. He was linked to the Rays on day one of the Winter Meetings.

There’s no direct rumor linking Colorado to the slugger, but none-the-less, something to watch.

Seattle also has a trade chip at first base in recently acquired first baseman Carlos Santana, a name familiar to Tribe fans.

• The Reds and Indians are reportedly continuing discussions regarding Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. This is no surprise as the Reds are desperate for a front-of-the-rotation arm. Cincinnati has gone hard after free agent Dallas Keuchel.

If the lefty spurns the Queen City, the Reds may get desperate.

Cincinnati boasts MLB’s seventh rated prospect in Nick Senzel. Unfortunately, he’s played third and second base in the minors and the Tribe needs outfielders.

The Indians are certainly no strangers to flexibility, though. If the Reds are to get Kluber, Senzel better be involved.

The Indians could also ask for Jesse Winker in the deal. The 25-year-old right fielder batted .299 (.857 OPS) in 136 games over the past two seasons.

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Cincinnati also has some nice outfield prospects deeper on the farm ,such as Taylor Trammell, who starred in last season’s Future’s contest, which was played just days before the MLB All-Star game.