The biggest con for the Rockies is that he will cost a BOATLOAD of prospects and/or young major league talent.
And I mean a boatload.
Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and The Athletic was on MLB Network’s offseason morning show, Hot Stove, on Tuesday and stated that the Indians could easily garner more out of a team than the White Sox got for Chris Sale when he was traded to the White Sox or more than the Pirates gave to the Rays for Chris Archer last July.
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Moncada was ranked as the #2 prospect in all of baseball at the time of the trade, according to MLB.com. Kopech was the #16 prospect in all of baseball per MLB.com. Before the 2018 season, he went up to #10. Basabe currently ranks as the White Sox #9 prospect (they have 7 prospects in the top 100).
If the Indians were to be able to get more than that for Kluber, a deal with the Rockies would require a lot.
Brendan Rodgers (#9 MLB.com prospect) would be in a deal. The Rockies #2 prospect Colton Welker (#94 MLB.com prospect) would be in it. Peter Lambert (#99 MLB.com prospect) would be in as well. Including all three of them might not make Cleveland hang up the phone…but they would need more. Throw in at least one of Garrett Hampson or Ryan McMahon and that gets the deal closer. Both of them would maybe get the deal done.
The only way a deal would be done with McMahon or Hampson in addition to the prospects is if the Rockies were to take on all of Kluber’s contract and all (or most) of Jason Kipnis‘s contract for 2019 ($16 million). If not, either add in the other player not in already or add in somebody like David Dahl, Scott Oberg, or Antonio Senzatela.
One guy that would help prevent prospects going to Cleveland would be Nolan Arenado. As much as you may not like to hear it, there’s a distinct possibility that Arenado will not resign with the Rockies. MLB.com recently named the Indians as a team that would be a possible fit for Arenado. The problem with it is that the Rockies offense is already weak as it is. As a result, to contend with Kluber in 2019, the Rockies would have to pull off some big free agent signing(s) or trades to acquire middle of the order bats.
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Another con is that Corey Kluber has been, quite honestly, absolutely awful in his postseason starts since game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Starting with Game 7 in 2016, he has made four postseason starts. He has not escaped the fifth inning in any of the four. His ERA in those four starts is also a ghastly 10.20 ERA.
The Rockies front office would almost definitely not deal for Kluber just because they don’t have the farm system (or young major league talent, for that matter) to do it. If they had a farm system like the Red Sox did when they acquired Sale, it would be easier to see.
It would become more of a possibility if the Rockies already had a deal set or completed if they traded another starter for some of their biggest needs.
Kluber would fall into the “want” category right now for the Rockies but if some of the “needs” are figured out, the acquisition of Kluber could become more of a possibility. But as of November 14, it is not something that is realistic.