The Indians are ready to part ways with their two-time Cy Young award winner, and they've made it clear who they want in return.
If the Tribe trade Corey Kluber, they would like to receive a young outfielder in the deal, according to MLB Network Insider Jon Morosi. As trade talks intensify with a number of teams, including the Dodgers, Cleveland is targeting Yankees top prospect Estevan Florial as a potential landing spot for Kluber.
Florial, 21, is New York's minor league star that broke out in 2018 despite a right hand injury that derailed some of his season. The Dominican Republic native put up a triple-slash line of .255/.354/.361 with six homers, 35 RBIs, 19 doubles, four triples, 16 stolen bases and a .799 OPS across 84 games primarily with Single-A Tampa.
He improved his strikeout rate from 31.9 percent in 2017 to a 25.7 percent clip in 2018 and he's known for his aggressive approach at the plate. Florial was selected for the 2018 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game last month, where he started in right field and tripled in the third inning.
The Yankees are expected to enter the 2019 season with an outfield problem, staffing more bodies than they can utilize. With Florial's defensive experience stuffing that list and the Indians' open pursuit of a young outfielder, a trade for Kluber would make sense for the Yankees.
Kluber, 32, is under team control for three more seasons. He will earn $17 million in 2019 and has team options in 2020 and 2021 for $17.5 million and $18 million, respectively. Either year can be bought out for $1 million.
He had a 2.89 ERA (3.12 FIP) and 0.99 WHIP with 222 strikeouts in 215 innings (33 starts) this past season, when he finished third in voting for the American League Cy Young award.