The hot-stove season is technically in full swing. However, we have only seen one “blockbuster” deal for a big name player and that was James Paxton to the Yankees for three prospects (including their number one prospect Justus Sheffield). But that doesn’t mean it will be a cold stove this offseason. So we examine three pitchers in the MLB that could be on the move before the 2019 season gets underway. I know that many people will think that Madison Bumgarner will be on the move. However, with the new general manager taking over in San Francisco I doubt Bumgarner gets moved. As Madison has proven (when not falling off dirtbikes) to be the kind of talent you build your franchise around.
The Cleveland Indians ace and perennial Cy Young contender Corey Kluber is likely to be moved. The Indians are playing in baseball’s weakest division, and this allows them the freedom to shop their ace. Cleveland can’t spend like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers or even the Phillies. And it’s because of those financial restrictions, that they are listening to offers for Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.
The Indians are likely only to move one of the two ace-caliber pitchers. And Kluber (although the better of the two) is likely the candidate. Kluber will command a more significant return as he has been a finalist in the last three AL Cy Young award votes and won the 2017 Cy Young. As pitching is always a premium and Cy Young caliber aces all the rarer, Kluber is likely to garner interest from a plethora of suitors.
Much like with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco is available and very likely to be moved by the Indians. Now as I stated before I believe that only one of the two would be moved. That is unless the offers (for the second man) are exceptional.
In 2018, Carrasco went 17-10 with an ERA of 3.38 with 231 strikeouts in just 192 innings pitched. Carrasco is no slouch and should be very highly sought after. Thus increasing the offers and potential returns for the caliber of pitcher like Carrasco.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been involved in many of the rumors and trade speculation this offseason. And their current ace seems to be drawing interest. Greinke is 35 years old and still has three years left on his current contract for about $105 million. Meaning that the team that would trade for Greinke has two approaches in pursuing the right-hander. First, the team looking to acquire Zack could just eat the rest of the contract and there not have to give up some of their higher level prospects. Or secondly, they could include some of their better prospects in exchange for less of the $105 million coming back to them. This opens up the possibility of many other potential suitors involved in the Zack Greinke market.
Grenike quietly had a very good season in 2018. Zack would pitch to an ERA of 3.21, making 33 starts. Greinke would also strikeout 199 batters in 207.2 innings pitched. Even at 35 Greinke proved to be a reliable starter for the D-Backs. And making him a likely candidate to get moved.