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Feb 12, 2019
Tim Warner/Getty ImagesThere are a handful of teams that have a chance to completely turn the MLB offseason on its head if they decide to be active on the trade market.The Cleveland Indians are one such team.According to Buster Olney of ESPN Jose Fernandez Jersey , financial restrictions could lead to some key veteran players being shopped on the trade block this offseason.Buster Olney Buster_ESPNFaced with market constraints, the Indians will listen to trade offers for some of their veteran players this winter, according to sources. Kluber, Carrasco, Encarnacion, Gomes, etc. Lindor, Ramirez will definitely be held.There's a lot to unpack there, and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber is obviously the name that jumps off the page.It was another excellent season for the 32-year-old, as he went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 222 strikeouts in an American League-high 215 innings.Kluber is entering the final guaranteed season of his contract and will earn $17 million in 2019.However, his current deal also carries a pair of team-friendly club options for 2020 ($17.5 million) and 2021 ($18 million) that make him an extremely valuable trade chip.It would surely take a pair of top-tier prospects and more to pry him loose.Carlos CarrascoTim Warner/Getty ImagesCarlos Carrasco doesn't have the same collection of hardware in his trophy room, but he's an equally attractive trade chip.The 31-year-old was terrific once again this past season, going 17-10 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 231 strikeouts in 192 innings.The Indians already exercised his $9.75 million option for the upcoming season, and his contract carries one more option year in 2020 at $9.5 million , so he too would represent more than just a one-year rental.With Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber also in the starting rotation, the Indians could conceivably trade one of Kluber or Carrasco and still have one of the best starting rotations in baseball.Buster Olney Buster_ESPNYes, the Indians will listen to trade offers for Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, etc., but two things to remember:1. They arent trading all of them, and they arent trading Lindor or Ramirez2. No matter who they trade, they will enter 2019 as prohibitive favorites in AL CentralIn a market where Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel and Nathan Eovaldi are the top available free agents, now would be the perfect time for the Indians to maximize the value of their top starters while potentially freeing up some payroll space and bolstering the farm system in the process.Catcher Yan Gomes is also listed as a potential trade candidate by Olney, and he too carries value, albeit not at the same level as the two top-flight starting pitchers.After a pair of down seasons, Gomes rebounded to post a 103 OPS+ with 26 doubles, 16 home runs and 48 RBI. He also threw out 29 percent of base stealers, was an All-Star for the first time and finished the season with 2.6 WAR.For a team looking to upgrade the catcher position but not interested in making a long-term commitment to free agents Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos Andre Dawson Jersey , Gomes could be an attractive alternative.The 31-year-old will earn $7.083 million in 2019, followed by a pair of reasonably priced club options in 2020 ($9 million) and 2021 ($11 million).The trouble is, after trading Francisco Mejia to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Brad Hand and Adam Cimber over the summer, there's no clear in-house replacement beyond backup Roberto Perez.Edwin EncarnacionDylan Buell/Getty ImagesThe final name on that list, Edwin Encarnacion, will be difficult to move.The 35-year-old is owed $21.667 million in 2019, and he has a $20 million team option for 2020 that carries a $5 million buyout.Encarnacion is still a dangerous slugger, as he posted a 115 OPS+ with 32 home runs and 107 RBI in 2018, but teams are putting less of a premium on offense-only players.It would likely take eating a good chunk of his salary to find a taker, and that would defeat the purpose.So will the Indians really consider moving a significant veteran piece?It's too soon to tell, but in this market, shopping Kluber and Carrasco makes a lot of sense, and it could help the team in the long run.All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted. Blake Snell has faced the Toronto Blue Jays twice this season en route to what looks like the second Cy Young Award in the 20-year history of the Tampa Bay Rays.In those two games, Snell has pitched 11 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out 17.Saturday night, he faces the Jays in his final start of the year Wei-Yin Chen Jersey , looking for his 22nd win when he faces Ryan Borucki in the second game of the final three-game series of the season.Article continues below ...Snell has 26 starts of two earned runs or less — 20 of one run or less. He has won nine straight starts, with a 1.03 ERA and is undefeated in 10 starts in August and September. His last loss came on July 12, before he went on the disabled list.The left-hander just defeated the Blue Jays last weekend in Toronto, when he outpitched Borucki, a hard-luck loser.“I think I’ll be telling my grandkids that I played behind him,” Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier said after that game.Said manager Kevin Cash: “I think he’s pretty much cemented his case that he belongs, not just in the conversation but right at the top of the list. He’s been dominant now for a couple of months.”Snell’s last win came with his team still mathematically alive in its late-season charge at a wild-card berth. That changed the next night when the Rays were officially eliminated, making the final days less meaningful.Not for Snell, who broke David Price’s franchise record of 20 victories.The Jays were playing meaningless games a long time ago, and this weekend they’re playing their final series under manager John Gibbons after word came out Wednesday that Gibbons will not be overseeing the team’s rebuild.Friday night, Toronto nipped the Rays 7-6 as Tampa Bay lost its second straight game, its fourth in five home games this week.Borucki has been a bright spot in a tough season, coming into this start 4-5 with a 3.76 ERA in 16 starts.He has faced the Rays twice, going 0-2 but allowing just four runs in 13 innings while striking out 12.Before last Sunday’s start, the lefty threw eight scoreless innings, striking out seven , in a win at Baltimore. Then he ran into Snell.“It was definitely cool, he pitched a really good game,” Borucki said. “He had all of his stuff working, kept us off balance and did a really good job. I was just trying to keep us in it, as close as we could. I had a couple of costly errors that cost me a couple of runs, but that’s just how it goes. He’s a pretty good pitcher.”So, apparently, is Borucki, who tossed his 11th quality start out of 16.“The kid can just pitch,” said Gibbons. “I think his breaking ball has gotten better since he has been here and he knows what he’s doing. He can throw different things in different times. … The bottom line is he can pitch. He has a feel for what he is doing and that can take him a long way.”The current Rays are just 6-for-44 (.176) with no homers against Borucki, Mallex Smith 1-for-7 (.143) and C.J. Cron 1-for-6 (.167).Devon Travis is 3-for-7 (.429) and Kevin Pillar 5-for-14 (.357) with a home run against Snell, but Kendrys Morales is 1-for-11 (.091), the hit a homer, Randal Grichuk 1-for-8 (.125) and Justin Smoak 2-for-12 (.167) against him.