The Cleveland Indians dangled the winter's most valued assets into the trade market at the outset of the offseason -- elite starting pitchers under short-term team control: Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer.
And as the Indians' camp begins, as Terry Francona prepares to watch daily rounds of pitchers' fielding practice, the trio remains in place.
Carrasco wants to stay in Cleveland, so he pushed for and signed an extension that made sense for both the player and the team. The Indians have listened to offers and concepts built around Kluber and Bauer, and with Bauer's arbitration decision set to be revealed Wednesday, it's possible that with his salary fully defined (his side argued for $13 million, the Indians made their case for $11 million), some team might be more inspired to step up and finish a trade for him. Or maybe some team will push for a Kluber trade. The Indians will always listen.
But it's possible the Indians will go into the 2019 season with their rotation, the best part of the team, fully intact. Kluber, Carrasco, Bauer, Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber, with solid depth lined up behind them. This path comes with a cost, however: Because the Indians have a lot of money invested in the rotation, they'll spend less for other parts of the club, most notably the outfielders.