Corey Kluber Targeted By New York Yankees

A report from Buster Olney suggests that the New York Yankees are one of the teams who have targeted Corey Kluber. The former Cy Young winner is seen as damaged goods, with two consecutive seasons derailed by injury. His 2020 injury was concerning, but in 2019 he had gotten hurt because of a line drive to the arm. Corey Kluber is not the best pitcher or second-best pitcher on the market, but he is a great fit for the rotation.

Corey Kluber Still Has a Great Arsenal

People will point to the diminishing stuff for Corey Kluber, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Let’s take a look at his pitch mix in 2018:

PitchMPHRPM
Fastball92.02410
Sinker92.02268
Cutter88.52604
Curveball83.82607
Changeup85.21751

That is a devastating pitch mix for batters, but he still hasn’t lost those pitches. From 2019-2020, this is what his pitches averaged.

PitchMPHRPM
Fastball92.02332
Sinker91.32208
Cutter88.12502
Curveball82.92538
Changeup84.91804

This pitch mix from Kluber is just as good as the one from his 2018 season, and he is still a talented and effective pitcher, but why did he have such a bad 2019?

Small Sample Sizes Not Reliable For Corey Kluber

The thing people seem to forget is that in 2018, Kluber had a similar seven-game stretch. That happens because, in baseball, slumps can be devastating. Slumps are not rare or unique in any sport. Let’s compare his 2019 slump, to his 2018 slump.

Year20182019
ERA5.215.80
FIP4.904.06
xFIP4.464.88
SIERA4.324.68

Isn’t it weird that those stats are fairly similar? That seven-game stretch for Corey Kluber was from June 15th to July 23rd in 2018, and it shows that Kluber should still get bidders even with seven bad games. On a cheaper deal, sitting around $7 million, he’s a great target for the Yankees, and it would in fact severely bolster their battered rotation.

Corey Kluber Gives Yankees Deeper Rotation

The Yankees’ current rotation is Gerrit Cole, Domingo German, Deivi Garcia, Jordan Montgomery, Clarke Schmidt. If you’re a young rebuilding team, this is fine. With Corey Kluber, the Yankees would be able to have Gerrit Cole, Kluber, and then the best three starters out of those four. By July, they would have Luis Severino as well, giving them Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Corey Kluber. This creates competition in a rotation and allows the younger guys to have to be superb in order to stay in the rotation.

What to Expect From Corey Kluber?

Corey Kluber on the Yankees is scary for Yankee fans because of his past injuries. They don’t want to see him pitch only ten innings, as the Yankees need some volume from him. It is the biggest looming question and that is why the New York Yankees would be scared to add him. If the Yankees get about 160 innings from Corey Kluber at a 3.60 ERA and good peripherals, that would be great.

He is not a number one starter anymore, but Kluber is a pretty solid second starter, and if Severino gets back from his injury, he’s a great third option. The Yankees can’t be picky with their pitching, because it’s a huge need right now, and Corey Kluber fits this squad well.

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main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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Ryan Garcia
I am Ryan Garcia, a 16 year old writer born in New York, as an avid Yankees and sabermetrics fan, I am a nightmare for 90% of MLB fanbases, even my own.

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