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Sunday, December 2, 2018

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE ISSUES: INDIANS PREFER TO UNLOAD COREY KLUBER, SIGN CARLOS CARRASCO

Heading into the MLB Hot Stove Season, the Cleveland Indians made it no secret their desire to unload one of their prime three starting pitchers that included two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, and power aces Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer.  Since the start of the offseason, it has become quite clear that the Indians prefer to part ways with Kluber, keep Bauer, and sign Carrasco to a new deal.  The latest has the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers engaged in Kluber talks but the whole endeavor makes sense on a number of levels despite the fact on numbers alone he remains as good as there is in the game.  As we noted a few weeks ago, Kluber in 2018 ran his streak to five in a row in terms of seasons throwing over 200 innings and as we all know, the piper eventually has to be paid in terms of such a workload.  We already are beginning to see this with Kluber in actuality as 2018 marked the fourth straight year his average fastball velocity declined and this time it was down to 92.4 which lessens the margin for error here.  Less velocity means Kluber will likely be giving up more hits and home runs overall which in turn will spike the ratios.  Want more?  How about the act Kluber will be 33 in April and began to deal with some health woes last season.  Combine everything together and it makes sense the Indians are trying to get out from under the final two years of Kluber's deal.  In terms of 2019 fantasy baseball, we went on record in this year's draft guide to avoid paying the freight on Kluber given all of these issues and in fact would prefer the upside of Bauver over the veteran. 


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