Dodgers Trade Rumors: Interest In Corey Kluber Waned As Priority Remained On Francisco Lindor & Mike Clevinger

Beginning with free agency and shared interest in Anthony Rendon, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers have been intertwined this offseason as both teams seek to improve their respective rosters. The latest example came with Corey Kluber, who reportedly was traded by the Cleveland Indians.

After Stephen Strasburg returned to the Washington Nationals, and Gerrit Cole inked a record contract with the New York Yankees, the Dodgers were said to have interest in Kluber as their search for a starting pitcher continued.

However, indications were that was part of negotiations for Francisco Lindor, who by all accounts is at the center of L.A.’s focus. On Sunday the Indians reached an agreement to trade Kluber to the Rangers.

While the Dodgers had reported interest, it wasn’t all that serious down the stretch as they appear to prefer a combination of Mike Clevinger and Lindor, according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:

The Dodgers weren’t in on Corey Kluber recently. They’re focused on acquiring Francisco Lindor. They’d like Mike Clevinger, too.

— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) December 15, 2019

Clevinger is in the first year of being arbitration-eligible, which in addition to being younger than Kluber, also means he remains under team control for more years. Furthermore, Clevinger is not coming off a lost season due to injury.

He has been part of the Indians’ starting rotation since 2017 and this past season went 13-4 with career-bests 2.71 ERA and 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

The Indians are believed to covet Gavin Lux and Dustin May as part of their return, and presumably would insist on receiving both prospects if Clevinger was included in a trade.

The Dodgers received interest on Lux and May at the trade deadline this past season but refused to entertain the idea of moving either player. Most signs have pointed to that still holding true, though one report suggested the Dodgers were preparing to submit a significant trade proposal to the Indians.

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