The New York Yankees, as we’ve expected all along, have become the most likely landing spot for rehabbing free agent Corey Kluber.
From the second a now-damaged Corey Kluber hit the free agent market again this offseason following an injury-destroyed and ultimately pointless tenure with the Texas Rangers (harsh, but true!), the Yankees and his former pitching coach Matt Blake were linked to him.
According to Buster Olney, that feeling has only intensified in the largely silent weeks that have followed.
About 12 hours after the first inklings of Kluber and the Red Sox being a rehabilitation fit, Olney emerged to confirm that the buzz among rival executives that the Yankees, Mets and Sox would indeed be the most likely landing spots for the pitcher.
He can’t be the only addition in a successful offseason, sure, but any pitching-needy team would be wild to shirk the option altogether.
Kluber famously “battled injuries” in 2020, only throwing a single inning before succumbing to a Grade II Teres Major strain, without nearly enough time on the clock to properly rehabilitate himself. His 2019 season was wrecked as well by a forearm fracture and oblique strain in the middle of his rehab process, and the 5.80 ERA he posted that year was hardly something the Indians were prepared for. After all, his 2018 season was all-time great, featuring a 20-7 record, 2.89 ERA, and 222 Ks in 215.0 innings pitched.
Would he be worth the Yankees taking a flyer on? What if we assured you the Red Sox were interested? Does that change your take?
Kluber “making his home” in the Boston area is a huge and confusing upset, but that’s all the more reason for the Yankees to make a spiteful play here.
Don’t believe us? Don’t believe MLB insiders? Perhaps you’ll enjoy this Spanish language report that claims the Yankees are “closing in” on a deal.
Take it with the thickest grain of salt, but it’s out there — and it was immediately shut down by Jeff Passan.
The righty’s regression in recent years has been stark, and can’t solely be attributed to injury concerns, but the ceiling here is quite high. After all, Kluber had previously been one of the most consistently productive pitchers in the game, placing a massive burden and workload on his own shoulders and carrying the Indians out of their doldrums.
We’d be willing to make a move here, without jeopardizing anything else on the offseason wishlist.