The MLB off-season will kick into high gear next season with the annual Winter Meetings but that the rumors are running rampant already.
The Indians have already been active trading Erik Gonzalez to Pittsburgh and Yan Gomes to Washington and other players such as Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer could be dealt.
Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reported Friday morning that the team has been listening to trade offers on designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion and third baseman Yandy Diaz.
One of those directions is a potential trade for Edwin Encarnacion or Yandy Diaz. Teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays have asked about them and the Indians are listening.
As it’s been reported throughout the off-season, the Indians are looking to shed some salary and obviously they’d like to move Encarnacion for the right price as he’s scheduled to make $21.6 million in 2019.
Encarnacion hit 32 home runs and had 107 runs batted in for the Indians in 138 games last season.
The Indians gave him the biggest contract in their franchise history in December 2016 with a three year, $60 million dollar contract and it’s paid off with 38 home runs in 2017 and 32 in 2018 which extended his streak of seven straight seasons of 30 home runs or more in a season.
Teams that need a designated hitter including Tampa Bay would definitely be interested on a one-year rental of Encarnacion because despite turning 36 years old, he’s still one of the best power bats in baseball.
Yandy Diaz was an interesting name that came up in Hoynes’ report because he doesn’t even hit arbitration until 2022 and the Indians control him through 2024.
The 27-year-old has played in only 88 games through two major league seasons and is best attribute is his glove as he’s shown to be nothing more than a contact hitter with little to no power.
He also has one option left in his contract so if he makes the major league roster out of camp, that’s his potential last chance in Cleveland.
I wouldn’t expect the Indians think he has any value but I could see him being added in a deal perhaps with Kluber or Bauer if they’re traded this off-season.