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The Cubs And Danny Salazar, Trade Target

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More than one Cleveland Indians pitcher could be someone the Cubs are interested in.

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Two days ago, I wrote about the possibility that the Cubs could explore a trade with the Indians for righthander Carlos Carrasco.

If that doesn't work out, how about another Tribe righty, Danny Salazar?

Salazar is younger than Carrasco -- he turns 26 in January -- and doesn't have the injury history that Carrasco does. Of course, this might make the Indians less likely to want to trade him. Despite making 60 starts for the Tribe over the last three seasons, he's inexpensive, too -- not eligible for arbitration until 2017.

Why, then, would Cleveland consider trading him? You'd have to give the Indians a pretty good haul to get him. He ranked fifth in the American League in 2015 in K/9 ratio, seventh in strikeouts and eighth in WHIP. He posted 3.3 bWAR and 3.0 fWAR -- even the two competing WAR systems rate him similarly. But Cleveland's looking for offense. They finished 11th in runs scored in the American League in 2015 and 13th in home runs, so power hitting would be something that might be able to entice new GM Mike Chernoff into trading a pitcher, as Jon Morosi of Fox Sports noted last week.

Salazar did allow 23 home runs in 185 innings in 2015, more of them (14) away from Cleveland than at home, so that's a concern. But, the wind can blow in at Wrigley Field as often as it blows out these days. He pitched once against the Cubs in 2015, June 18 in Cleveland, and if you're wondering why he was pulled in the fifth inning after a not-awful outing, there was a long rain delay at that point.

Who would you give up to get this young righthander to join the Cubs' rotation? He would have to change his uniform number if the Cubs acquired him, as the one he's worn his entire big-league career is retired by the Cubs.