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Should the Dodgers Offer Alex Verdugo in a Corey Kluber Trade?

Ken Gurnick bringing back some rumors from last off-season



During the most recent episode of Dodgers Nation’s Blue Heaven Podcast, the conversation lit up when discussing recent rumors sparked by Ken Gurnick. The question was simple: Alex Verdugo for Corey Kluber, yay or nay?

The question proved to be a point of engagement for the audience… I posted something about it on Twitter a few days ago which also got a lot of reactions.

Social Media Reactions

Let’s take a look at some reactions to the Vedugo for Kluber trade idea.

These are just a few of the opinions that were expressed on Twitter and during the podcast. It looked like more are against trading Verdugo but there were plenty of good points made about Kluber.

Should The Dodgers Trade Verdugo?

I thought that Alex Verdugo was excellent both on offense and defense during his rookie year. In fact, I wrote a piece advocating for him to be the leadoff hitter. He has an approach at the plate that the Dodgers sorely missed during the playoffs. My only concern is that he had a back injury which makes me nervous. However, he is only 23 with five more years of club control.

Additionally, he is reportedly healthy and ready for a full, regular off-season.

What About Kluber?

Corey Kluber has had an excellent career and turns 34 right as the 2020 season starts. He has won two Cy Young Awards and has been a strong finisher in other years. There has been some concern with Kluber’s pitch velocity.

Something of note is that Kluber’s Cy Young season in 2017 his pitch velocity was as follows:

  • Four Seamer – 92.7 MPH
  • Cutter – 89.0
  • Curve – 84.4
  • Sinker – 92.5

His numbers in his injury-shortened 2019:

  • Four Seamer – 92.0 MPH
  • Cutter – 88.1
  • Curve – 82.9
  • Sinker – 91.3

His velocities in 2018, in which he finished 3rd in the Cy Young Award voting, were more similar to 2019. Kluber’s 2019 was a mess as he suffered a broken forearm and an oblique injury so he only made seven starts.

Trying to guess how a 34-year-old pitcher that is coming off an injury will perform is not possible. If we look at our own Clayton Kershaw we can see that decline is inevitable. With Kluber, he missed a lot of time so the positive would be that he didn’t put a lot of mileage on his arm in 2019. Kluber does have two $17.5M club options for both 2020 and 2021 so he is a lot cheaper than some of the free agency options.

Some Final Thoughts

There is no way that I trade Alex Verdugo straight up for Corey Kluber. At the same time, I think Kluber might still have a season or two left of being very good but it is risky. He could be anywhere from injured to a fifth starter to a co-ace. I just feel that Verdugo has made himself into one of the more valuable players on the Dodgers.

So, go and get Kluber but leave Verdugo out of it.

Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

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  1. Unless Verdugo has back issues that only the Dodgers are privvy to, I would want the young two way everyday player

      • 5 years from now Verdugo will still be in baseball where will Kluber be and still be getting paid..LETTING Verdugo go you are breaking up your outfield. Get Rendon an trade Lux and Seager 4 Lindor JT at first base what a infield!!!????

      • True! Besides, the Dodgers were a much better team with Duggie in the lineup than withou himt. It’s well documented. Just look at the win/loss record with and without him. Kluber won’t help this team. Verdugo is the spark that makes the Dodgers “Nasty”

  2. Why not.. management screws everything up anyway.. they kept Roberts a proven loser for big games..over and over again….kept the GM… a bigger losser… so why not give away a young proven talent!!!

  3. For years we have been needing a right handed batter and now we want to trade one of only a few that can hit a lefty. Thank god the management is smarter than most of the sports writers although that is a close call.

  4. You are trying to fix a need that some perceive but does not exist! The Dodgers had one of the elite starting pitching rotations in baseball. They will swap Hill for Urias and have young arms like Stripling, May and Gonsolin in the wings plus they have White on the 40 man roster with Grey coming up fast. The Dodgers will and should resign Ryu.
    Verdugo, Seager, Smith, Lux, May are all untouchable on a Kasten run team. His business plan is bringing homegrown talent up and cost control.
    The Dodgers should be better in 2020 than in 2019 without trades or free agency.

    • Txmaster………..THANK YOU! All this talk as if we need to break the piggy bank open or trade our superior depth for a starting pitcher is ludicrous. Our starting staff is great already and we have a bevy of good young pitchers just waiting to break into the rotation. What we need is bullpen help. Resign Ryu and let’s celebrate that! Our young players need to stay Dodgers, there is a reason everyone covets/wants them. Verdugo is a keeper, period.

  5. Verdugo…a rookie, a man who abandoned the team at 23 for back and lat problems is a man that would have to make some major redemption for me to forgive. I have always been a major advocate for Verdugo, but he let the fans and the team down in ‘19. Not something you do in your rookie season with aspirations to impress your fans and the organization. Dodgers need a front end starter via trade in Kluber and may also need to sign Cole. Pack your bags Verdugo.

    • Ralph………what are you smoking dude? Verdugo gets injured and you call that letting the team down and infer he needs your forgiveness for it? “Not something you do your rookie season?” How in the world did you come up with this thought? Do you think he got injured on purpose?

      • I’m 23 and looking to impress at the MLB level, to keep and solidify my job for years to come. So at 23 years, I abandon the team with a back and lat problem? Are you kidding? You want an injury waiting to happen on your team, especially in put up or shut up time??? No, does not set a precedent that you want to bank on. A 23 year old with back problems…give me a break.

  6. I would pull that trigger, but for Clevinger not Kluber. Higher potential there, imo Kluber heading down the Kershaw road.

  7. We don’t need to be burning prospects with high upside in trades, especially not for older pitchers. The Dodgers have money, they can get what they need on the FA market.

    • Let’s see, Kluber was injured last year and is in his mid 30s. Friedman needs to remember the other duds he signed, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson to name a couple. Let’s loosen the purse strings and sign a couple of studs like Rendon and Cole.

  8. Use some of the billions you are hoarding for yourselves and sign Cole. Money not prospects it’s an easy choice

  9. That trade would be insane as are the comments by Ralph. Sure injuries are a players fault. Then you will really be happy with an aging, fading, injury prone 25 year old pitcher!

  10. To all idiots wanting kluber!Get your heads out of your asses!Kluber is over the hill period Verdugo showed he will be a Tony Gwyn type of hitter but better defensively,faster and with puig the strongest arms in baseball.We have best pitching staff Don’t need any starting pitching Don’t need Betts cause Cody is superior to him in every category.Do need for Roberts to cut down his stupid mistakes.Go Blue

  11. HERE’S THE SCENARIO. IF I AM AN INDIANS FAN I’D KEEP KLUBER. IF I AM AN DODGERS FAN I TRADE VERDUGO FOR KLUBER. IT’S EASY TO SEE AT THIS POINT WHO IS GETTING THE BETTER DEAL.

  12. Are y’all messed in the head, why would anyone trade the future star of the team for a washed up pitcher in Kluber, or a rental in Betts?

  13. I would not trade away any of your young talent that is in the Majors, i.e. Verdugo, May, Lux, Gonsolin,etc. I don’t think we need to trade for Lindor either. I say move seager over to third base, play Lux at SS and move Turner to 1B. If we are going to trade the Indians, then it should be for a pitcher and it should be Clevinger. I would make the trade revolve around our minor league catcher Ruiz since we have a plethora of young catching prospects and Will Smith is our starter going forward.

  14. Forget about it. A silly idea.

    Verdugo is a 5 tool, up & coming, potential All Star.

    Kluber has been very good, but is nearng the end.

  15. Dodgers’ philosophy has been on getting old with injured history? “Hmm, I think I can repair this clunker.” When acquiring old cars, that sounds like a plan, but MLB players?

  16. I do not understand some people’s thinking. Verdugo is one of the best young players in baseball who is under our control for quite a few years at a reasonable price. We have 4 young stud pitchers in Bueler, Urias, May, and Gonsolin that will all probably put up better numbers than an over the hill 35 year old. In stead of paying a Kluber salary use some of that money towards a good right handed batter or relief pitcher.

  17. verdugo has a chance to be a very good player he has already shown that the dodgers should try to sign a free agent pitcher instead of trading him

  18. To trade Verdugo (who is young and not even in his prime) for Kluber (who is older and past his prime) says a lot about our FO, Truly a silly move!!! And then to sign Rocky Gale really is the height of stupidity. As a rabid Dodger fan for over 65 years, this move is really scary. We shall win in spite of AF and his FO staff. Go Blue!!!

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