More than one team seems to be interested in the services of at two-time Cy Young winner, who knew? According to Tom Hardicourt (correction, someone Tom Hardicourt knows who is familiar with what the Indians are looking for), the Brewers could line up as a potential trade partner for Corey Kluber.
Someone familiar with what Indians are looking for in a deal for Corey Kluber tells me #Brewers could satisfy their needs. I'm just not sure how #Brewers would squeeze Kluber's $17 million salary into their budget. Seems to me they'd have to deal another salary away (Thames?).— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 10, 2018
I mean, he’s not wrong. The Brewers do have Christian Yelich, and I want Christian Yelich.
Dream scenarios aside, the Brewers do have Corey Ray, a 24-year-old speedy outfielder who the Brewers selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft. Ray reached Double-A season where he finally stayed healthy and hit like a top prospect — a .239/.232/.477 slash (124 wRC+) with 27 home runs and 37 stolen bases.
He tore his meniscus in his first season within the Brewers system that caused him to miss parts of the 2016 and 2017 season, but came back strong in 2018, though, and he’s now listed as the Brewers’ second overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
It’s going to take more than a promising Double-A prospect to get Kluber, of course. The Brewers have a healthy selection of Milwaukee outfielders from to choose from including Domingo Santana and Keon Broxton, both of which would be under arbitration through at least 2021. Could something crazy happen that finds Lorenzo Cain in the deal? A reliever? It could get interesting.
It’s also worth considering that the Brewers aren’t the Dodgers, financially. As Hardicourt notes above, a deal with the Brewers might also hinge on them being able to deal away the contract of Eric Thames. Either way, it’s yet another interested party for the Indians to play off the other ones.