The Milwaukee Brewers have long been searching for an ace to place atop their starting rotation. They continue to have talks with the Cleveland Indians about Corey Kluber.
The day after Christmas, Jon Morosi dropped this bomb about the Corey Kluber sweepstakes.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 26, 2018
We knew the Brewers were still involved in talks with the Indians for Kluber as of last week. And GM David Stearns is still making phone calls to the 216 area code.
In a different tweet, Morosi had more details about the Padres and their pursuit of the stud starting pitcher. They appear to be the frontrunner at this point, but a deal is not close and there likely won’t be one before the new year begins.
Corey Kluber And The Brewers
Kluber, 33, would obviously be a perfect fit for the Milwaukee Brewers. He gives them a strong, consistent ace at the front of their rotation, which is something they’ve lacked in recent years. He’s under team control for three more seasons at salaries of $17MM, $17.5MM, and $18MM, which is extremely affordable for a pitcher of Kluber’s caliber.
Kluber has thrown 200+ innings each of the past five seasons and has posted a sub-3.50 ERA in those five seasons. He’s also finished with a sub-3.00 ERA each of the past two seasons.
He has two Cy Young awards to his name and has finished in the top-3 in voting in four of the past five years. You’d be hard pressed to find a more dominant and consistent pitcher over that time.
His contract fits perfectly into the Brewers window of contention, and he could be that missing piece that puts the Milwaukee Brewers over the top.
What Would He Cost?
We’ve discussed this before, and although this package will have to be altered slightly due to the Domingo Santana trade, the centerpieces would remain the same.
A package for Corey Kluber would have to start with Keston Hiura and Corey Ray. There will also need to be one of the young starting pitchers going back in return, likely Brandon Woodruff or Freddy Peralta. While Corbin Burnes would certainly help convince the Indians to make the trade, it’s difficult to imagine Stearns trading away both Burnes and Hiura in one trade. Burnes, in my opinion, is more valuable to the Brewers than Hiura.
The Indians would prefer MLB ready players to help them out now. Whichever pitching prospect between Woodruff and Peralta would help them immediately and Hiura could be ready mid-season.
Perhaps as a final fourth piece, the Brewers could include Keon Broxton to man center field for the Indians, or even newly acquired Ben Gamel. Either one would make sense as a fourth piece in a Kluber deal.
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If the Milwaukee Brewers are going to acquire Kluber, it’s going to take that kind of package. He’s definitely proven to be worth it over the past five seasons.