The big ticket item on the trade market is Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber, even though it's not clear he'll be dealt now that they've shed some payroll with their some of their other trades this offseason.
Kluber has garnered interest from plenty of teams, including most recently the San Diego Padres. But who are some surprise clubs that could swoop in and acquire the two-time Cy Young Award winner? Here are four dark horse candidates for Corey Kluber.
4. Tampa Bay Rays
In 2018, the Rays were one of the best pitching teams in baseball following the first month of the season.
Imagine if they had a frontline starter like Corey Kluber to eat up 200-plus innings? Whether the Rays would be willing to unload the young talent necessary to facilitate a trade of this magnitude is one thing, but I wouldn't count out this team who was surprisingly one of the better teams in the AL.
3. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers have been in desperate need of starting pitching for a couple years now, and even though some of their young arms who pitched out of the bullpen are moving to the rotation next year, none of them are Corey Kluber.
Milwaukee will have to fend off the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals next year, and I'm not sure you can expect the bullpen to replicate what they did last year. The need is there, so it's up to the front office to make this happen if they truly want to go for it.
2. Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics shocked the baseball world by winning 97 games in 2018. They have a young core and could you some big time, established players to put them over the top. Kluber would be that guy.
The starting rotation is a bit iffy at the moment, and I'm not sure Billy Beane wants to rely on a bunch of veteran, spare parts to carry load again. Nothing Beane does should surprise anyone at this point, but going all in and grabbing Kluber would be out of the norm.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have already acquired Paul Goldschmidt and signed Andrew Miller. So why stop there? Yes, they have a really good foundation of young starters, headlined by Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes, but adding Kluber to the mix would certainly make them one of the favorites in the National League.