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Inbox: Why wasn't Tribe able to trade Kluber?

Beat reporter Mandy Bell answers questions from fans
MLB.com @MandyBell02

CLEVELAND -- After a long wait, the beginning of the 2019 baseball season is finally in sight. With the Indians' pitchers and catchers reporting to Goodyear, Ariz., on Tuesday, it's time for one last Inbox of the offseason.

CLEVELAND -- After a long wait, the beginning of the 2019 baseball season is finally in sight. With the Indians' pitchers and catchers reporting to Goodyear, Ariz., on Tuesday, it's time for one last Inbox of the offseason.

Tweet from @cklink1111: Should we be concerned that no one traded for Kluber? Is he hurt? One of the best pitchers of the last 10 years and can���t trade for quality OF and prospects concerns me. Mind you I love Kluber, but still can���t believe didn���t happen.

Concerned? Absolutely not. The Indians have been clear that their goal was never to trade away Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. However, given their talent level and the impressive seasons they had last year, it was inevitable that teams would be calling to express interest in the hurlers, and listening to those offers is a must. We've heard the rumors all offseason, but the team obviously has a specific return in mind when discussing potential trade options and it's clear that no offer has been able to match what the Tribe is looking for.

Video: Corey Kluber is the No. 4 starting pitcher right now

Yes, trading someone like Kluber would give the Indians a chance to acquire some quality outfielders and/or prospects, but, again, it's finding the exact group of talent that will make the club willing to give up a two-time American League Cy Young Award winner. So it's not that Cleveland can't trade him, it's more that any offer it has received so far hasn't checked off all the team's boxes. The Indians have a rotation that's projected to be one of the best in baseball. Their starting staff has led MLB in WAR the past two seasons and, as of now, they are returning each of their top five starters from last year. The ace of that rotation is not necessarily someone you want to give up unless you are getting enough in return to replace that loss.

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Tweet from @MedlockLee: @MandyBell02 odds of snagging moose at 3rd?

The odds are very, very low. Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti recently said that the focus is now mostly on non-roster players rather than Major League regulars when it comes to the free-agent market. The team's 2019 payroll is already estimated to be around $120 million, so it is extremely unlikely that Cleveland would take on a Mike Moustakas contract.

Tweet from @42acrefilms: I would put Hand, Cimber, Ollie, Goody, and Ramirez as the locks for the bullpen. Out of Edwards, Hu, Hoyt, Jefry Rodriguez, and Wittgren, who are you most intrigued by going into ST? Assuming Salazar and C Anderson still have health questions. #IndiansInbox

I would agree that Brad Hand, Adam Cimber, Oliver Perez, Nick Goody and Neil Ramirez will likely be in the Tribe's bullpen this year, given that they all have healthy springs. Danny Salazar will be easing his way into Spring Training and will need to play each day by ear to see when he'll be game ready. Cody Anderson is expected to be unrestricted at the start of camp, so he will definitely be a contender as well.

It will be interesting to watch each of the pitchers you listed compete for a roster spot over the next six weeks. However, Nick Wittgren and Chih-Wei Hu both pop out as intriguing guys to keep an eye on. These two new faces to the organization have both posted decent numbers in their careers. Hu, 25, has logged a 3.15 ERA in 126 Minor League appearances and has pitched in 11 Major League games in his career, allowing nine earned runs in 23 innings (3.52 ERA). He's spent the majority of his time in the Rays' farm system as a starting pitcher, but all of his big league appearances were in relief. Wittgren, 27, had a solid year for the Marlins in 2018, pitching to a 2.94 ERA in his 32 appearances (33 2/3 innings). He has 118 Major League games under his belt over the last three seasons, which may also work in his favor.

Tweet from @PurpleHatKid: Is Jake Bauers going to get more reps at first or left field?

Jake Bauers will see time at both positions throughout the spring. The offseason plan was having a blend of Carlos Santana and Bauers at first base throughout the year. However, the Indians obviously wouldn't speculate who would win that job prior to camp. With the current roster, a likely scenario is having Bauers at first base and Santana at designated hitter, with either Jordan Luplow or Greg Allen in left. In that case, Bauers would spend a good bit of time at first.

Tweet from @bacchaus351: Does Eric Haase get a legitimate shot at catcher after the Plawecki signing?

Antonetti said that Eric Haase still has a shot at impacting the Major League club after Cleveland acquired Kevin Plawecki from the Mets last month, but there's no hiding from the fact that it will now be more difficult for him to secure a roster spot. Prior to the Plawecki trade, it was assumed that Roberto Perez and Haase would take over the catching duties after Yan Gomes was dealt to the Nationals, but now the Indians' No. 27 prospect will have to really fight for a spot in Spring Training. The starting position is still up for grabs, but it wouldn't be surprising if Perez and Plawecki are the two backstops to break camp with the Tribe.

Tweet from @kennysedlock: You���ve probably answered this. But if Bobbie Bradley or Yu Chang have amazing springs is there any chance they make the club out of spring training?

Despite how great their springs may be, both Bobby Bradley and Yu Chang will likely not make the Major League roster out of camp, giving them a little more time at Triple-A Columbus to work out their final kinks before they make their big league debuts.

Tweet from @Dsuds24: What���s your favorite road ballpark you���ve visited?

Well, I'm a newbie to the beat, so I haven't been able to travel to different parks just yet, but I did try to get to all 30 while I was still in school. I was able to get 25 crossed off, leaving Seattle, Oakland, Los Angeles (Dodgers), Arizona and Texas as my final ballparks to get to. Oracle Park on the water in San Francisco is beautiful. Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are obviously must-sees just for historic reasons. PNC Park has one of the best backdrops in baseball with the Pittsburgh city skyline behind the stadium. But I think the one that stood out to me the most that I wasn't necessarily expecting was Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Arch in the distance behind the stadium is a neat touch and the food was really good. What more could you ask for?

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.

Cleveland Indians