Sources told The Athletic and MLB Network that the Padres have explored three-team trade possibilities while trying to find a third baseman, including the swap involving Reds and Indians. No deal is close, according to the reports.
Sources added that the Padres' interest in Kluber is "primarily to flip him." The Padres would likely want Reds infielder prospect Nick Senzel in the deal, according to the reports. Senzel is the No. 6 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.
Kluber, 32, posted a 2.89 ERA and a 20-7 record in 33 starts last season. The star right-hander led baseball with 18 wins and a 2.25 ERA in 2017. The two-time Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star owns a 3.09 ERA and a 96-55 record in eight seasons.
Senzel, 23, owns a .312 batting average with 27 home runs and 130 RBIs in 231 appearances at the Minor League level.
Kluber is due $17 million in 2019. He has a team option for $17.5 million in 2020 and $18 million in 2021. Both options include $1 million buyouts.