Cleveland Indians rumors: Tribe seeking ‘value-plus’ in return for Kluber

Cleveland Indians rumors involving Corey Kluber don’t seem to be going away, although we now have a better idea of what the Tribe’s asking for in return.

In Cleveland Indians rumors, contending clubs will continue to check in on the price tag for ace Corey Kluber.

However, Cleveland won’t move him unless the organization receives “value-plus” in return, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. 

Cafardo is indicating here that a club would have to overpay in prospects and young players to close the deal.

Not a surprise here to the Indians fans who’ve been following the Kluber saga ever since the Indians were embarrassed in the ALDS.

As part of the 12 moves I thought the Indians needed to make this season, I wrote the Tribe needed to at least make Kluber available to see if they would be blown away with an offer.

It makes you wonder about all the speculation surrounding the Tribe and the Dodgers. The two teams have been linked together for weeks centered around the same rumors, yet nothing has  happened.

Prospect Alex Verdugo would be a nice starting piece when talking about a return for Kluber, but don’t forget about that rumor involving Cody Bellinger. The Indians want him, but it doesn’t appear the Dodgers are going to give up on the All-Star who they still have under club control for the next five years.

Bellinger and Verdugo. That may be the “value-plus” Cafardo is writing about.

The Dodgers have since swung a big-news trade, swapping Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood to Cincinnati for Homer Bailey‘s albatross of a contract. LA still needs a starter, though.

As for the Indians trading Kluber, the two-time Cy Young Award winner’s value is never going to be higher. He’s 32 and is coming off the first 20-win season of his illustrious career.

If the Indians wait to trade him, he’ll be another year older with one fewer year left on his current contract.

Heading into Christmas, the Tribe’s trade dialogue was more heavy on Kluber than fellow right-hander Trevor Bauer.

Bauer is set to hit arbitration where he’s expected to earn $11-$12 million. A lot of money, but about $5 million less than Kluber will earn in 2019.

For a club that’s been all about pairing back payroll this offseason, that difference can’t be overlooked.