OAKLAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona heard that Carlos Carrasco's name was continuing to surface in trade rumors in the hours leading up to Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Given that he had already assured the pitcher that he was not going anywhere, Francona found it all to be a bit amusing.
True to Francona's word, Carrasco, who pitched a complete-game gem on Thursday vs. the A's, was still with Cleveland when the 4 p.m. ET Deadline came and went.
"I was kind of laughing at some of the reports that were out there, because I knew," Francona said before Friday's game against the A's. "I understand. [General manager Chris Antonetti] is going to listen to teams, but that doesn't remotely begin to mean something was going to happen. I told [Carrasco he wasn't going anywhere]. If I would've thought there was a chance [he'd be traded], I wouldn't have said that.
"I told him the truth. I said, 'Teams call, because they want pitching. Chris is not going to hang up on them.' I didn't see anything that was going to happen."
It made sense for teams to inquire about Carrasco given his age (28), performance (11 wins, 2.83 FIP, 4.03 ERA, 140 strikeouts and 27 walks in 127 1/3 innings this year), career mileage (499 2/3 innings in parts of six seasons) and team-friendly contract ($22 million guaranteed through 2018 with team options for '19 and '20). It also made sense for Antonetti to entertain offers to gauge how much opposing teams were willing to give up for him.
"It's part of my responsibility to understand how other teams value our players," Antonetti said. "There are a lot of discussions at this time of year. I can tell you, a number of teams called us with interest in a variety of players on our Major League roster. I think that's a good sign for us, given the level of interest that was out there from other teams. Hopefully that's an indication of the talent level that we have."
Cleveland's rotation -- a group that includes American League Cy Young-winner Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, Cody Anderson and Carrasco -- is a main reason the organization feels it can quickly turn things around after what has been a rough season to date.
"I don't know how many times we've said it, but it kind of starts with pitching," Francona said. "If you can't pitch, you're in real trouble. We have guys that, although are young and are still learning, they have good arms and should get better. It's a hard way to get better when you don't have pitching."