If Mike Clevinger is dealt in the next few hours, who ends up getting him?
Things are heating up on the Mike Clevinger hot stove, as he is expected to be traded.
The 29-year-old right-hander of the Cleveland Indians may end up being the biggest name moved ahead of the 2020 MLB trade deadline. Despite being an excellent starting pitcher, he has fallen out of favor with many of his teammates for his breaking coronavirus protocol with Zach Plesac. With less than 24 hours left until the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline, who will end up with Clevinger?
Which MLB teams are in the mix to trade for Mike Clevinger at the deadline?
Clevinger’s name is all over the place thank to MLB insiders. Right now, it’s tough to keep track, but we did our best.
According to FOX’s Ken Rosenthal, “White Sox talking to Indians about Clevinger, as Bob Nightengale said. Other teams also in mix. CLE needs power-hitting OFer, but also could move Clevinger for controllable pitching and make separate deal for offense. Clevinger two more years of control after ‘20.”
According to USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale, “A mystery team has improved their offer, which is now better than the Padres, for Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger.”
According to Mike Feinsand of MLB.com, “Two executives believe the Braves are making an aggressive play for Clevinger, which would make sense given Bob Nightengale’s report that the Padres are no longer viewed as favorites.”
And, if you can believe it, the Toronto Blue Jays have even entered the fold, per Robert Murray.
Okay…so it’s look like the three known teams in the running for Clevinger’s services are the Atlanta Braves, the Chicago White Sox and the San Diego Padres. It makes sense for all three teams to be interested, as all three are expected to qualify for the postseason this year. However, who stands the best chance at winning the Clevinger sweepstakes at the deadline?
Though all three teams can provide the Indians power-hitting outfielder Rosenthal said they’re looking for, if the Braves are willing to part way with their No. 2 overall prospect in outfielder Drew Waters, they’re going to win the Clevinger sweepstakes. It’s a lot to give up a top-tier prospect like that, but Atlanta is so deep in the outfield that Cristian Pache can’t even play in it.
The White Sox have the bats and the ace pitcher in Lucas Giolito, but it’s hard to envision the Indians trading away a pitcher in-division to a team very much in the playoff picture themselves. It would have to take a Godfather offer to get Clevinger to swap AL Central teams in a blockbuster deadline deal.
San Diego also has the offensive firepower the Indians may crave. Though the Padres haven’t made the postseason in 13 years, they may not have enough tradable assets left to pull off this one for Clevinger with the Indians. The Padres have made four trades to bolster their roster ahead of Monday afternoon’s deadline.
As for the Braves, they did trade for a crafty left-hander in Tommy Milone earlier on Sunday. While he was dreadful in his Atlanta debut, it didn’t feel like Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos was done making deals. If he is fine with giving Waters to the Indians, then he needs to put this trade in motion. Surely, many members of Braves Country would drive Waters to the airport.
This is the Braves’ best shot at getting to a World Series since 1999. The bullpen was rebuilt on the fly last year, so look for Anthopoulos to do the same to his underwhelming starting rotation. With Milone and Clevinger backing up newfound ace Max Fried, Atlanta has the roster capable of beating anyone the Braves were to come across in the postseason.
Clevinger has a robust trading market, so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up by tomorrow. Of course, don’t overlook the mystery team.