Trevor Bauer might have his name thrown around in trade rumors this month more than any other player in baseball, although a number of complicating factors could make the right deal difficult to find for the Indians.

One team at least exploring a deal for the Indians' starting pitcher is the Philadelphia Phillies, who have been viewed as an obvious potential trade partner for a few weeks. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Wednesday the two teams have talked recently.

The Phillies make sense as a contender short on starting pitching. It would also be ideal from the Indians' perspective to send Bauer to the National League rather than an American League contender, where the odds of having to face Bauer in a postseason series in 2019 and 2020 are increased. The Houston Astros and New York Yankees in the AL and the San Diego Padres in the NL have also been thought of as fits for Bauer.

Bauer has had an up-and-down 2019 but carries extra value for the high number of innings he can throw — not to mention additional value in October for his ability to throw on three days' rest. Bauer leads the league with 152 1/3 innings pitched. He's also posted a 3.49 ERA, a 4.19 FIP and 179 strikeouts. He also mentioned a few weeks ago that he was dealing with some "physical limitations" for much of the early part of the season.

Bauer is under club control through next season, making him the biggest trade asset on the roster that isn't at least under control through 2021. He's eligible for his final year of arbitration this winter, when he'll likely demand a hefty price tag. Though if he follows through with his plan of signing repetitive one-year deals in free agency, it lessens his value should he be offered a qualifying offer.

 

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.