The Indians Should Stop Chatting with Teams About Mike Clevinger's Availability

Matt Loede

When it comes to the current Cleveland Indians roster, there’s likely only a couple of players that the organization and most fans would deem as ‘untouchable.’

One of those players you would think is 29-year-old pitcher Mike Clevinger, who is coming off another solid season which saw him go 13-4 with a solid 2.71 ERA.

With Corey Kluber having been sent this offseason to the Texas Rangers, one would think that the team would shut down any chatter about the possibility of moving Clevinger, who now looks to be the ‘ace’ of the staff as 2020 gets started.

Instead though, it seems like the Indians have been active in at the very least listening to offers for Clevinger, as Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Sunday that the Los Angeles Angels have their eyes on the pitcher they traded to the Indians in 2014.

Morosi says that the Indians shot back at the trade request with one name in mind to come to the team from Los Angeles, that being outfielder Jo Adell, who is one of the very top prospects in all of Major League Baseball.

While Adell wouldn’t be the only player coming to Cleveland, he would be the prized prospect in the deal and the one that should get Indians fans most excited.

But let’s go back to the initial thought for this article – Clevinger at this point where this franchise is at should be a player the Tribe has absolutely no interest in moving – no matter what the return is.

Trading Clevinger would mean that in a matter of six months this organization would have dealt three top of the line starters – Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Clevinger.

While starting pitching is a strength of the organization, it would be darn near impossible to figure out how this team can stay competitive traded three very good starters who all could be All Stars or even be in line for a Cy Young in 2020.

It appears more and more that the team isn’t going to move shortstop Francisco Lindor this offseason, and that’s just fine.

The team has more than enough time to trade the 26-year-old, and for now let his bat and glove do the talking as the Indians again look around the trade deadline to see what is out there and who is offering what for his services.

Clevinger is under control for no less than three more seasons, and no matter who the prospect it’s not smart to ship out a starter with that much potential and who only appears to be getting better year by year.

Over the last four seasons Clevinger is 41-21 with a 3.20 ERA. He’s a great clubhouse guy, and one of the more popular players on the roster with fans.

If nothing else, the team should start trying to get something long term done with Clevinger, not looking to deal him away from the organization.

The Tribe needs to stop the flirting and even taking calls on Clevinger. They have to know that nothing good can come of it.

Comments (4)
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Taking this team seriously, something that already has a degree of difficulty, will become next to impossible if the FO trades Clevinger at this point in his career with the club. And I don't think it matters what or who they get in return for him. Trading Bauer helped to solve a long and short-term need - two (potential) power bats and outfield help. Fans can live with that because Reyes will be in an Indians uniform for a while; Puig was a rental, albeit one many Tribe fans would like to see come back. Dealing Kluber, while bringing the team (potential) bullpen help in terms of a power arm the pen lacked, was transparently a salary dump rationalized by his injury and poor early season performance in 2019. We all know that Lindor will be moved eventually, simply due to economic limitations. What the team gets for him remains to be seen, though I hope he remains with the club through the 2020 season. Moving Clevinger (or Bieber) will be a tough pill to swallow. As the author points out, Clevinger is under team control for a few more years and, in the view of many fans, the club should be working to secure him with a relatively team friendly, long-term deal. Trading a guy who is at this point incredibly cheap and who, should he pitch as he has been, could easily be in the running for a Cy Young. We all know that we have a strong rotation, but every arm is one pitch away from losing the entire season. There's no such thing as too much pitching. I cannot see a situation in which trading Clevinger (or Bieber) makes this team better, not in 2020 or in the foreseeable future. What I do know is that it would make it very difficult for me to want to shell out money to see a team that, by the actions of ownership, has little desire to make the best of a rapidly closing competitive window.


Thank you for this article. The Indians have not motivation to trade Clevinger and our strength-starting pitching --will soon be decimated if this continues.