It’s by now well known that the New York Yankees are looking for starting pitching help this winter. They didn’t waste any time in search of said help at the general manager meetings in Southern California on Tuesday.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, the Yankees have interest in Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber and are meeting with Cleveland about the former AL Cy Young winner.
Yankees have interest in Kluber, Carrasco and Paxton in addition to free agent targets Corbin, Happ and CC. NYY meeting with at least Indians today.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2018
It’s not yet known whether the Indians would seriously consider trading the 32-year-old starter. But all signs seem to be pointing in that direction.
According to Heyman, Cleveland wants to lower its current $145 million payroll this winter. Moving Kluber would go a long way in doing just that. He has a $13.5 million average salary over the next three seasons with team options in 2020 and 2021.
Kluber pitched to a 20-7 record with a 2.89 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 33 starts this past season. He also struck out 222 batters in an AL-best 215 innings. That comes on the heels of him earning the AL Cy Young back in 2017.
Needless to say, any trade for Kluber would require New York to send a massive haul back to the defending AL Central champs.
As Heyman noted, the Yankees are also interested in Seattle Mariners ace James Paxton. A report earlier on Tuesday indicated that the Mariners might go into full fire sale mode this winter. If so, Paxton would be one of the first to be moved.