On this day in 1920, Indians pitching legend Early Wynn was born in Hartford, Alabama. Wynn spent ten of his 23 Major League seasons with the Tribe, a stint that saw him rack up 164 of his 300 career wins in an Indians uniform and led to Wynn wearing a Cleveland hat on his Hall Of Fame plaque.
The latest from the modern-day team…
- The Indians haven’t dropped their asking price on either Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi writes, as the Tribe is still looking for “Chris Sale-level return” for either starter. As a refresher of Sale’s move from the White Sox to the Red Sox in December 2016, Chicago landed arguably baseball’s best prospect (Yoan Moncada), another blue-chip pitching prospect (Michael Kopech) and two other solid minor leaguers (outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and hard-throwing righty Victor Diaz). Sale came with three years of team control, in the form of one guaranteed contract year and two option years that the Red Sox have since exercised at very reasonable prices, given Sale’s ace-level production. Kluber’s contract is also only guaranteed through 2019 with two club option years, though Kluber is also five years older than Sale. Bauer is only slightly older than Sale was at the time of the trade, though Bauer is only controlled via arbitration for two more years. Despite the differences between Sale and Kluber/Bauer, Cleveland’s trade ask isn’t unreasonable, though it’s hefty enough that there hasn’t appeared to be much movement towards a deal (if the Tribe trades either pitcher at all). “There are no signs of recent progress” between the Indians and the Dodgers, who have been often linked to Kluber and Bauer in trade rumblings this winter.
- If Kluber or Bauer are moved, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer believes a trade could happen later in the offseason, after free agent arms like Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, and Derek Holland come off the board. “I don’t believe the Indians will enter Spring Training without having made one more big move,” Pluto writes, arguing that the team still needs significant lineup help, particularly in the outfield.
- The Tribe did check one notable item off its list today by acquiring catcher Kevin Plawecki from the Mets. Cleveland president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti discussed the trade with MLB.com’s Mandy Bell and other reporters, saying that the playing time split between Plawecki and Roberto Perez likely wouldn’t be determined until Spring Training, though Antonetti feels Perez would likely get the majority of at-bats and youngster Eric Haase will still be in the mix. “We felt this was an opportunity to acquire another Major League catcher that could help absorb some of the burden in losing Yan [Gomes],” Antonetti said. He also hinted at more potential deals in the coming weeks, noting “conversations throughout the league have intensified” since the start of January.