Did you know that Indians righthander Carlos Carrasco had heart surgery before the 2015 season?
Here's the story on how and why it happened, and after he had this surgery he had the best year of his big-league career.
Perhaps the two things are related, perhaps not. Carrasco was reportedly a Cubs trade target at the July non-waiver deadline in 2015 and it's likely safe to assume that Theo & Co. are looking at him again.
Carrasco was just starting out as an Indians rotation member in 2011 when his career was interrupted, as so many seem these days, by Tommy John surgery at the end of that season. He didn't become a full-time starter for Cleveland again until 2015, and as sometimes happens with TJS survivors, his strikeout ratio actually improved after the surgery. In 2015, Carrasco's K/9 ratio was 10.6, which ranked third in the American League. His 3.8 bWAR ranked 10th among all A.L. pitchers.
One thing that could be a real advantage to the Cubs if they can put together a package to trade for Carrasco is that he is under contract at quite team-friendly terms through 2018. The deal pays him $19 million total through 2018, and then there are two team options for 2019 ($9 million) and 2020 ($9.5 million) with buyouts of $662,500 for each of those two years (though according to Carrasco's baseball-reference page those could increase depending on his Cy Young vote).
Those numbers are quite attractive, which would likely make the cost in players to Cleveland quite high. Whether this can happen or not depends in large part on whether the Tribe thinks they are contenders or retooling in 2016. If it's the latter, Carrasco could probably be had for one of the Cubs' younger infielders (Javier Baez?) plus prospects.
What do you think? Put together a reasonable deal for Carrasco in the comments.
Once again, all the articles in this "trade target" series are going to be in a handy StoryStream for you to refer back if you're so interested.