The San Diego Padres made a big splash by signing Manny Machado and reportedly now have their eyes on Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Padres have talked with the Cleveland Indians about a trade for either of the Cleveland aces. Rosenthal did note a trade will likely not come before Opening Day.
#Padres in continued discussions with #Indians on starting pitching, sources tell me and @dennistlin. Interest primarily in Bauer or Kluber, but asking price – while lower than before – remains beyond SD’s comfort level. Trade not close, unlikely to occur before Opening Day.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 18, 2019
San Diego’s interest in Kluber and Bauer makes a lot of sense. Padres starters posted a 5.09 ERA in 2018, the fourth-worst total in the league. San Diego does have solid pitching prospects. But the majority of them are not seen as MLB ready yet.
Either man would easily be the Padres No. 1 starter in 2019.
Kluber, a former of San Diego’s who was traded to the Indians at the 2010 trade deadline, is a two-time Cy Young Award winner. In 2018, he had a 2.89 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and a 9.29 K/9 rate. Bauer doesn’t have Kluber’s pedigree. But he was brilliant in 2018, posting a 2.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and an 11.3 K/9 rate in 2018.
We’re not expecting to see anything soon. But this situation will be one to keep an eye on as the season gets going, especially if the Padres starters continue to struggle.