With a team that won a franchise-record 106 games during the regular season, Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts both emphasized the winter was viewed as an opportunity to add elite talent to the organization.
The Dodgers were connected to the likes of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, and Roberts said it was fair to classify their approach and motivation in free agency as more aggressive than years past.
Nevertheless, Strasburg remained with the Washington Nationals, Cole joined the New York Yankees on a record contract, and Rendon favored what he perceives to be a more lax lifestyle with the L.A. Angels.
So the Dodgers have seemingly turned to the trade market, with reported discussions for Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor. Their talks with the Cleveland Indians are also said to have included Mike Clevinger.
According to insider Robert Murray, the Dodgers remain among multiple teams with interest in acquiring Clevinger and the Indians are seeking a significant return:
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 19, 2019
Clevinger bounced back from a back injury early into the season as he finished 13-4 with a 2.71 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 21 starts. He collectd 169 strikeouts against 37 walks over 126 innings pitched; Clevinger set career-best marks in strikeouts per nine innings (12.1) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.57).
The 28-year-old is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time in his young career, and thus remains under team control through the 2022 season. Hence, Clevinger’s talent, age and being multiple years away from free agency have the Indians in position to seek a haul for the right-hander.
That holds even more true if Clevinger is packaged with Lindor in a trade. Cleveland reportedly desires a return that includes Gavin Lux and Dustin May if they were to trade Clevinger and Lindor to the Dodgers.
Just like during the regular season, L.A. is not thought to be open to parting with either of their top prospects.
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