While a number of big names are off the board, plenty of free agents and trade candidates are still in play as we head toward the holidays. Yes, the likes of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg are spoken for, but Josh Donaldson, Madison Bumgarner, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, among others, are still looking for work. On the trade front, Sunday afforded us a blockbuster swap, as the Rangers reportedly acquired decorated right-hander Corey Kluber from the Indians for outfielder Delino DeShields and a pitching prospect. .
Now let's get to Sunday's rumors.
Dodgers focused on Lindor, maybe Clevinger
The Indians probably aren't through selling, and on that front Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers are angling for Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor. That much we knew, but Castillo adds that Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger is also of interest to the Dodgers.
Lindor, 26, is a plus glove at the most premium position on the diamond, and for his career he's averaged 29 home runs and 40 doubles per 162 games played. All of that is in addition to his speed on the bases and highly marketable personality. Even with an arbitration raise over his $10.85 million salary for 2019, he's going to be underpaid. What adds to his immense trade value is that Lindor isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season.
Clevinger is going into his age-29 campaign. Last season, he posted an impressive 174 ERA+ with a 4.57 K/BB ratio in 126 innings (he missed time with back and ankle injuries). Over the last three seasons, Clevinger has an ERA+ of 152, which on a rate basis makes him one of the top pitchers in baseball over that span. He reached new heights in 2019 thanks to strides at the command and control levels. Clevinger isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.
Needless to say, either of these names would command a high price in trade, but the Dodgers have the young talent base to get something done.
As for the Indians, they're soft-pedaling the rumors for now:
Chris Antonetti reiterates that he believes Francisco Lindor will be the Indians' starting shortstop in 2020.— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) December 15, 2019
Your move, Dodgers.
Note that the word is "believes" instead of some ironclad guarantee. That's all the wiggle room an uncommitted ownership group needs.
Bumgarner lands with D-Backs
Another big-name pitcher found a new home Sunday. Madison Bumgarner, the longtime Giants ace, has agreed to a five-year, $85 million deal, according to multiple reports. We have more on Bumgarner's deal.