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Dodgers Reporter Ken Gurnick Has Cleveland Ace Corey Kluber on his LA Wish List

Dodgers Beat writer Ken Gurnick has been running his annual “Inbox” editorial series over at In the series, Gurnick answers questions from fans and provides insight on a number of topics.

In a recent post, the writer was asked if the Dodgers have a preferred trade target. Here is Kenny G’s reply.

Not sure if they do, but I do: Cleveland pitcher Corey Kluber. There was plenty of chatter last winter about the Dodgers asking for Kluber and the Indians asking for outfielder Alex Verdugo. That trade still makes sense.

The idea of a Corey Kluber trade has once again been brought up in rumors and speculation. Moreover, with Los Angeles being linked heavily to another Cleveland trade target in Francisco Lindor, the blockbuster idea starts to make a little more sense.

Let’s let Gurnick do the heavy lifting on the numbers and notes surrounding Kluber.

Kluber has only one year left on his contract at $17.5 million (plus a 2021 option for $18 million or a $1 million buyout) and he’s coming off a season ruined by a broken arm when he was hit by a line drive. — The Indians must believe he’s healthy, because they picked up the 2020 option on the $17.5 million salary.

Additionally, Kluber can be under team control through the 2021 season on an $18M club option. If $35.5M sounds like a lot for two seasons (it is, in real life), consider the fact that superstar free agent Gerrit Cole is reportedly looking for that per season.

Upwards of $35.5M for a two-time American League Cy Young award winner is a fairly solid bargain in this climate — especially when noting he was a 20-game winner as recently as 2017 and owns a lifetime 3.16 ERA with a 2.99 FIP over 9 seasons.

Who Moves?

In the event that Cleveland and Los Angeles match up on a trade — and believe me, it would be the event of the off-season — there will be a lot of shock on the Dodgers side of the fan base. With names like Lindor and/or Kluber potentially on the move, LA prospects like Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, DJ Peters and others are likely to be mentioned going back.

Gurnick points to Verdugo as someone potentially on the move…

Verdugo showed his talent, but left the Dodgers perplexed when he didn’t play after Aug. 4 because of a vaguely defined injury.

…but I personally think the front office finally getting a glimpse of what the outfielder can do firmly entrenched him in their plans going forward.

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Bobby Miller, and any Dodgers of the future. Under Clint, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. He's a golf enthusiast, an amateur wood worker, and a friend.


  1. I am not too surprised to see that there are not any comments on this page here because most fans, including myself ALREADY KNOW that this kind of a deal will NOT happen, if for no other reason than what the Indians may demand in return.

    1. I think the Dodgers could trade for Kluber, but most certainly not the type of trade being proposed here.

      1. Yes, and that is my point as far as what Indians may want in return. My guess is they still have Cole on the radar and certainly would want to bring back Ryu, in as much those 2 pitchers won’t cost us top prospects but will cost $$. And perhaps Dodgers do shy away from Wheeler with his past medical history that you pointed out on another page here.

  2. The Dodgers need to look long and hard if thinking of getting Kluber , after a broken arm ,his confidence will change ,totally will need to work on his mechanics, he was a decent pitcher but not great ,there are some good ones left in FA if anything ,let him replace Jansen for a almost no runs given up closer, I know kluger would never go for that and were stuck with Go Jansen …. Goodbye Dodgers lose.

  3. Although logical and close to fair. This is VERY unlikely to happen, because once again, all of the hype this off season has been swallowed hook, line and sinker. Small Market Thinking Freidman LOVES prospects because of the 6 year control. The owners issued a prospectus 2 years ago saying the Dodgers would stay under the Salary Tax level for 5 years. Guggenheim – the BUSINESS GUYS have committed to that and they have even extended Freidman who has done NOTHING to add top tier talent following two World Series FAILURES. But once again, the press is eating up his Leaks and Winks thinking that Freidman WANTS to win a WS. He could give a crap about the WS. 7 years of #1 MLB attendance has proven (in Freidman’s mind) that winning the Weak, Weak West Division each year will keep the seats full and the owners laughing all the way to the bank. Once again this off season, Freidman will repeatedly leak that we missed that Top Tier [Trade/Free Agent] by just a small margin/by unreasonable demands from the other side. 31 Years of no WS Championship and a year from now it WILL BE 32 years. Status Quo, Small Market Freidman will be getting pats on the back from the greedy owners and Payroll will be just under $208Million.

  4. 17.5 million? Triple A Prospects ? Friedman? = No way…..Dodgers already are favorites to win it all, just ask Friedman, he’ll tell you…

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