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Yankees might have unique advantage in potential Corey Kluber pursuit

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JULY 26: Corey Kluber (28) of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Field on July 26, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JULY 26: Corey Kluber (28) of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Field on July 26, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Here’s why the Yankees might have the inside track on Corey Kluber.

The New York Yankees have a desperate need in the starting rotation at the moment. We really don’t need to further elaborate, but it’s obvious that Gerrit Cole being backed by four largely unproven arms is not the recipe for a World Series run.

That’s why fans have been hoping for a Masahiro Tanaka return, but there hasn’t been much chatter on that front. James Paxton? Literally not a peep. Trevor Bauer? Not happening. Some trade options are out there, but most of them will come at a high price, which isn’t general manager Brian Cashman’s style. Frustrating, we know.

But how about a former Cy Young winner down on his luck? Former Indians ace Corey Kluber is a free agent and finds his value at rock bottom after making just eight starts since the beginning of 2019 due to injuries. He’ll host a showcase for teams, which will take place on Jan. 13. And it seems the Yankees may have the inside track at landing him, if they want.

Here’s some important information from Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

"“Still, Kluber is holding a mound session on Jan. 13 at Cressey Sports Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and at least the dozen teams that have expressed curiosity will send a scout. The Mets will be among those, The Post has learned. The Yankees would not divulge if they will scout Kluber’s session, but it would be a surprise if they didn’t. Plus, they might have more insight into this player currently than anyone.“Eric Cressey, who runs Cressey Sports Performance, was named the Yankees’ director of health and performance last offseason and is training Kluber through rehab this offseason. Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake worked at Cressey Sports before joining the Indians as director of pitching performance in 2016 and, thus, was with Kluber for his final four Cleveland seasons.”"

If anything, the Yankees just need to keep this guy away from the Red Sox. If Kluber goes to Boston, that’s a resurgent Cy Young season waiting to happen. Can’t have it.

This has always felt like the perfect low-risk, high-reward move for the Bombers. Kluber is just two years removed from an All-Star bid and three from a Cy Young campaign. Unfortunate injuries have kept him from pitching, and though he’ll be entering his age-35 season, that shouldn’t be too big of a concern. He was a late-bloomer and didn’t break out until his age-28 campaign.

He won’t be expensive. He has the potential to provide elite stability behind Cole. He can be a valuable veteran voice to help mentor the younger arms. And there’s familiarity with pitching coach Matt Blake.

If the price is right, this feels like a must.