Although they’ve been heavily linked to Kluber this winter, the Dodgers are instead focused on acquiring two other members of the Cleveland Indians – All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-handed pitcher Mike Clevinger – according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times.
The Dodgers’ crowded infield also includes third baseman Justin Turner and top prospect Gavin Lux, along with multi-positional talent Max Muncy. Reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger is also in the mix as a first baseman and outfielder.
The prospect of acquiring Lux, who made his MLB debut in September, could be intriguing to Cleveland, but it’s unclear if the Dodgers would be willing to part with the 22-year-old.
Lindor is expected to be dealt by Cleveland – if not this winter, then at some point in the next two years – due to his escalating salary in arbitration and his free agency after the 2021 campaign. Cleveland is not expected to sign Lindor long term, although team president Chris Antonetti said last month he believes the 26-year-old will be with the team in 2020.
Clevinger could appeal to L.A. as a low-cost alternative to Kluber with additional years of team control. He’s projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $4.5 million through arbitration in 2020, his first of three arb-eligible seasons.
The 28-year-old Clevinger just completed a career-best campaign for the Indians, in which he posted a 2.71 ERA and a 2.49 FIP along with a 1.06 WHIP and a career-best 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings. However, back and ankle injuries limited him to just 21 starts in 2019.