CLEVELAND (AP) — With one of baseball’s best young starting staffs, the Indians are a prime target for teams looking to make a deal before next week’s trading deadline.
Cleveland, though, doesn’t want to part with any pitchers.
In fact, don’t bother asking.
General manager Chris Antonetti said Friday he has received numerous inquiries regarding his pitchers, but the Indians are planning to hold on to them.
“I think people around baseball recognize that we have a really good and talented group of starting pitchers that are under control for the forseeable future,” he said. “Those are very valuable players to have on any team. So, we’ve had a lot of calls about a lot of our players, our starting pitchers included, but players around the diamond.
“It’s natural at this time of year for teams to reach out and express interest in a variety of different players. That’s no different. We have no motivation to move any of them.”
Led by defending AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, the Indians’ starting rotation has the firepower and depth to match up with any in the AL. And beyond just having quality arms, Cleveland also has its starters — Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar and Cody Anderson — under contractual control for several years.
Cleveland’s biggest problem this season has been an inconsistent offense, which has prevented the Indians from stringing together enough wins to make a significant jump in the standings.
The Indians could use a power hitter, but they won’t dangle any of their young pitchers to get one.
“Although our record isn’t where we want it to be, there’s probably a lot of organizations that would change the five starters because of where they are in their careers and the stuff they have and we value that greatly,” manager Terry Francona said. “They’re young, they’re under control. They look like their better days are ahead of them, and that’s exciting.
“We’re not looking to get rid of any of those guys. That’s very valuable to us, and we know it.”
The Indians enter the weekend 5 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot. Antonetti said it’s possible the team could make a trade by the July 31 deadline, but Cleveland’s isn’t looking for any quick fixes.
“We’re open to a lot of different things,” he said. “I don’t think we’re focused on just bringing in players that are here just for the balance of the year. That’s not where we’ve spent a lot of our energy — on the rental players and players whose contracts expire at the end of the year. Short of that, we’ve discussed a wide range of things and we’ll continue to do that over the next seven days.”