The Cleveland Indians are in search of rotation help as trade deadline nears, and are specifically tied to a pair of National League arms in Chicago’s Matt Garza and Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo.
Jon Heyman from CBS Sports reports that Indians general manager Chris Antonetti is not only looking to add an arm, but is focusing his efforts on a top-of-the-rotation starter to pair with All-Star Justin Masterson.
“It’s no surprise the Indians would like to add a starter,” writes Heyman. “The twist is that they are limiting themselves to a top-of-the-rotation type. … If they don’t find that special someone, they just might pass in light of the fact their rotation depth isn’t a concern at the moment.”
Given the recent improvements of back-end starters like Zach McAllister and Corey Kluber, Antonetti’s desire to add a quality starter makes sense. Kluber is 6-4 with a 3.53 FIP, recently fanning 10 in a win over the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers. McAllister has a sub-4.00 ERA (4.23 FIP) and is attempting a comeback from a sprained right middle finger. The team’s current fifth starter, Scott Kazmir, recently scattered four hits in 5 2/3 innings, also against the Tigers.
From a cost perspective, Heyman reports that the Cubs are seeking “multiple good prospects” for Garza (he’s allowed a total of five earned runs in his last five outings, four of which have been wins) while the Brewers are currently valuing him based on how he pitched in past years (a career FIP of 3.67), not his inconsistent recent performance which has been accompanied by a significant drop in his strikeout rate.
ESPN’s Buster Olney recently reported that the Indians join Texas, Boston, Toronto, the Dodgers and maybe Baltimore in the quest to acquire Garza.
[Related: Tigers 4, Indians 2: Golden opportunity slips through Tribe’s fingers]