It would definitely be cool if the Indians and Padres got together to send the Reds an elite starting pitcher, because this offseason has not had enough of other NL Central teams getting impact players.
In their search for a third baseman, the Padres have explored three-team trade possibilities, including one that would send Corey Kluber to Cincinnati, sources tell @Ken_Rosenthal and me. No is deal close.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) January 15, 2019
We know that top Reds prospect Nick Senzel was mentioned over the weekend as a guy the Padres have explored trading for (same report as David Bote, who is not in Senzel’s tier). And since Kluber would cost prospects on the order of Senzel, there’s a superficial fit here.
Before you freak and start thinking about how competitive the Reds could actually be if they added Kluber atop their rotation, keep in mind that not only is their roster more about potential competitiveness than surefire trouble, but also three-team trades are incredibly difficult to pull off. It takes only one tiny bit of perceived imbalance by one team about one player, and it falls apart.
Nevertheless, we’ll obviously keep an eye on this, because the already-competitive NL Central could be significantly impacted if the Reds do get Kluber, and they’ve been rumored to be on him for most of the winter. Moreover, the Padres have been in the Kluber rumors for a while, which suggests those two sides probably have a good sense of what players the Indians would want from the Padres for Kluber.