The Texas Rangers executed a trade Sunday afternoon, for 2x Cy Young winner and 3x All-Star, Corey Kluber. The 33-year-old Alabama native makes $17.5M in 2020, with a club option to follow. In exchange, the Rangers sent speedy CF Delino Deshields and promising reliever, RHP Emmanuel Clase.
2019 Injury and Rehab
Kluber missed most of 2019 due to injury, having only pitched 35.2 innings. Kluber fractured his right arm after being hit by a line drive in early May. By August, he started his first games on rehab assignments. He made his first rehab start for the AAA affiliate Columbus Clippers, a 3 inning, 2 ER showing. Following this, he made his next two starts for AA Akron. Kluber did not play for the Indians again in 2019. However, the Indians exercised their $17.5M club option for 2020.
Kluber by the Numbers
Corey is a career 3.16 ERA pitcher, with a WHIP of 1.086. He’s thrown 17 complete games in his career, 7 of those via shutout. Impressively, Kluber gives up less than a HR per game, He also strikes out just a tick fewer than 10 K/9, while walking only 2 batters per 9 innings.
Kluber, for the first time in his career, won 20 games in the 2018 season. He finished the season with an ERA of 2.89 and came in as 2nd runner up for the AL Cy Young Award.
2017 was a career season for Kluber. He would go on to win the Cy Young Award for the 2nd time, boasting a league-best 2.25 ERA and .869 WHIP. Kluber finished 7th in MVP voting.
If the Rangers can tap into any version of Corey Kluber, outside of 2019, we may be seeing the best rotation in the AL West. After all, a jury wouldn’t indict Kluber over 2019, so why should we? You can’t simply dismiss a career of elite pitching by pointing at 35 bad innings. However, if you have the “What have you done for me lately” point of view, you may have a case. Alternatively, an old lion is still a lion. The Rangers are in desperate need of lions.
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