Reports out of Las Vegas running up to the opening of Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings, and even on the first actual day of whatever goes on there, were that talks were “intensifying” around the Tribe trading their A-1 ace, Corey Kluber. It was news that was as expected as it was depressing. The names alleged to be coming back to Cleveland were mostly Dodger outfielders, which softens the blow some of course, but rumors that Kluber might be leaving actually starting to calcify were hard to hear. Except that they’re not true. Or maybe they are. And that’s why this is the blurst week in baseball.
See, when a front office — or the President of Baseball Operations no less — says something like “ We were sitting here eating lunch by ourselves going, ‘Oh, really. Who is intensifying those talks?’ I’m not sure who is having those talks intensified.” you start to get a little confused, frustrated, wary, the whole gamut of emotions surrounding being yanked around. It’s still fun to hear the rumor a little bit, but having it get shot down is a little stupid to have to deal with.
Because there’s surely something there. Somewhere. The question is what. I know media figures get a bad reputation for just throwing stuff out there because it’ll all stick, especially this time of year. And I don’t mean to dog Jon Morosi, the progenitor of the tweet that started this whole mess, but you could make up any rumor you wanted at this point and someone is going to bite. Especially when it’s about the Indians trading a pitcher. Throw in Kluber’s name specifically and you run the news cycle for at least half a day. But it can’t just be made up whole-cloth. That’s a great way to nuke any level of credibility you might have.
But we aren’t going to get anything out of it, are we. No confirmation can even be hoped for, even a half-hearted one. Because of course the Indians are going to deny it. Hell, so are the Dodgers. Morosi has a heck of a track record as a reporter, or at least a hell of a clip book. He’s written across the country in Seattle and Detroit, and now for MLB.com. So he’s got the contacts. But he’s also written two articles about this same Kluber deal in the last week and a half, and now he’s tweeted about it a handful of times in the last 36 hours. Not to say he’s banging a drum or anything, but he’s definitely working an angle in an effort to get clicks and whatnot. As long as there’s real bones to the reports, there’s no reason to complain of course.
Problem is, nothing at the meetings is ever corroborated until it is. What are we as outsiders and fans to do? Live at the whim of a reporter and the team he’s hounding? Who are we to give more credence to at this point? It feels wrong to just get yanked around by this. At the same time though, It’s not like any of it matters, not really. It’s fun, right? Perhaps that’s the only way to approach any of this. They need to trade someone anyway. Might as well get wrapped up in the storm and just enjoy the ride. Or get Mad Online and yell at someone on Twitter. Or in the comments below, if you want. Either is a great way to stay warm on a cold December night.