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MLB trade rumors: Blue Jays talking to Indians about Carlos Carrasco

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Talking is one thing, but it should take a monster offer to pry Carrasco away.

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The Indians have been in talks with the Blue Jays about pitching, with Carlos Carrasco reportedly being the center of most of the discussion. This comes via Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, who says there "may be a match there." The Blue Jays will be working hard to try and land at least one very good starting pitcher between now and next week's deadline, as they have the best offense in baseball, and could be a legitimate contender if their pitching were a bit better.

Nothing comes of most trade discussions, because there are so many variables in play. I have no problem with the Indians talking to other teams about Carrasco, but they shouldn't move him unless they're getting an incredible offer.

Carrasco was great down the stretch last season after being moved back into the starting rotation, and has continued to be really good this season. His 3.94 ERA doesn't look great, but his strikeout rate (10.08 per 9 innings) ranks 8th among all qualified MLB starters, and his K/BB ratio (5.33) ranks 10th. A unsustainably high .334 BABIP against explains much of his modest looking ERA. His FIP is a much more impressive 2.81 (which ranks 7th in the AL), and because FIP has greater predictive value than ERA, it's the better metric to look at in assessing a player's value going forward.

Speaking of value, Carrasco was signed to an extension during the off-season that keeps him under team control through 2020 and would pay him only a combined $37.5 million for the next five seasons. That is a massive bargain for the Indians, and is the reason I have a really hard time seeing him moved.

Just last week Carrasco was ranked 39th among all MLB players in FanGraphs' trade value series.

I don't know Toronto's farm system well, but (assuming the Bue Jays aren't going to move valuable pieces from their 25-man roster) I'd want something like their three best prospects before even considering hammering out the final details of a trade.

Whether the Indians are contenders this season or not, Carrasco has great value to them, because he's really good now, and he's very cheap for years to come.