ESPN’s Buster Olney speculated the possibility of a Corey Kluber trade, and sees the Mets as a possible dancing partner on the former American League Cy Young and on former All-Stars Yan Gomes and Jason Kipnis.
Says Olney, “If new GM Brodie Van Wagenen is looking for ways to live up to his oath to win in 2019, adding Kluber might be the most effective and financially efficient. The Mets’ rotation would be incredible, with Jacob deGrom, Kluber, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, and Kipnis could play some second base and some outfield. Additionally: The Mets are looking for catching, and Gomes would be a solid short-term fix. New York manager Mickey Callaway is very familiar with all of them, of course, having served as Kluber’s pitching coach in Cleveland.”
Kluber, 32, is coming off yet another fantastic season in which he went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 6.53 SO/W and posted a 5.8 bWAR. The former two-time Cy Young winner is set to make $17 million in 2019, then has reasonable team options for both 2020 ($17.5M) and 2021 ($18M).
The 31-year-old Kipnis is set to make $14.67 million next season, and has a team option at $16.5 million for 2020. The former All-Star struggled mightily to begin the 2018 season and finished with a .230/.315/.389 slash line. He hit 28 doubles, 18 homers and knocked in 75 runs over 147 games. He played both second base and center field while being worth 1.6 bWAR.
Gomes, 31, will make $7 million in 2019 and has team options of $9M for 2020 and $11M for 2021. The right-handed hitting catcher hit .266/.313/.449 with 26 doubles, 16 homer and 48 RBI in 112 games last season. The 2.6 bWAR he produced in 2018 was his highest since 2014. Baseball Prospectus ranked Gomes as the 12th (out of 117) best defensive catcher in baseball last year.
Brodie Van Wagenen has been touting the intent of making the Mets a contender in 2019, so can a mega-deal with the Indians be the move? Only time will tell.