He is expected to miss multiple weeks, and with Zach Plesac also on the IL, the Indians’ rotation may be in some serious trouble for the foreseeable future.
This is a staff that has already struggled this season beyond its top three arms (Aaron Civale being the third), and now, the team’s worst nightmare is coming to life.
— Nick Camino (@NickCaminoWKYC) June 14, 2021
With the combination of injuries mounting and pre-existing rotation issues, the Indians really need to get busy on the trade market.
These three trades for starting pitchers would put the team in a better position moving forward.
3. Madison Bumgarner
If the Indians feel like rolling the dice, the asking price on Madison Bumgarner has presumably never been lower.
Not only is he currently on the IL with a back injury, but he has also struggled a great deal this season.
He has a 5.73 ERA, 4.46 FIP, and 1.26 WHIP over 12 starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
That might seem like an unattractive option, but we know what Bumgarner is capable of, and the Indians are at a point now where they simply need arms.
The riskiest part of a potential deal for Bumgarner is the fact that trading for the 31-year-old would also involve taking on the remainder of his contract.
He’s signed through the 2024 season, and the deal has a remaining AAV of $19.8 million.
2. Jon Lester
Jon Lester will be a perfect rental option for a contending team this season.
He’s not the ace he used to be, but he can still eat innings while giving you serviceable numbers.
The 37-year-old has a 4.09 ERA on the season despite a 5.06 FIP.
Lester has a career 3.61 ERA and is a five-time All-Star.
Trading for the veteran also means trading for his invaluable playoff experience.
He has a career 2.51 ERA in the postseason over 154 innings
Lester alone isn’t going to change the outlook of this Cleveland rotation, but he’d be an upgrade over some of the current options and would come at a low price.
1. Max Scherzer
Of course, Max Scherzer is the biggest name that you are going to hear tossed around at the upcoming trade deadline.
The Indians could use him as badly as anyone.
The seven-time All-Star is a free agent after the season, so you can expect him to be moved at some point.
Scherzer has a career 3.18 ERA.
He has led the league in wins four times, WHIP four times, strikeouts three times, and has won the Cy Young Award three times.
He has gotten no less impressive with age, as the future Hall of Famer is currently working on an outstanding 2.21 ERA this year.
Scherzer's 4-seamer is just filthy. 😤 pic.twitter.com/55t1gtShIY
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) June 11, 2021
Not to knock Lester or Bumgarner, but Scherzer is the only name on this list who has the potential to flip the script on Cleveland’s rotation.
He would give the team a massive boost every fifth day and could even give the Indians a chance to compete with the Chicago White Sox for a division title.