Yankees: 3 players who definitely won’t be back in 2022

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 30: Corey Kluber looks on after allowing a grand slam hit by Jack Mayfield #9 of the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 30, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 30: Corey Kluber looks on after allowing a grand slam hit by Jack Mayfield #9 of the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 30, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Corey Kluber #28 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

1. Corey Kluber

If Kluber returns, it’s because Eric Cressey hoodwinked the Yankees again. Anyone getting Jack Easterby vibes from this guy? Just kidding. Cressey is a knowledgable dude and is an asset to the organization. We think.

But the Yankees spent $11 million on Kluber under the assumption they’d be able to use him in big postseason spots and rely on him to provide much-needed quality outings behind Gerrit Cole. Instead, we were deprived of that, and it was probably a blessing.

The right-hander suffered a shoulder injury at the end of May, which kept him out until September. Down the stretch, he simply wasn’t good. Merely looked like he was treading water with whatever he could throw on a given night. He finished the year with an awful 5.40 ERA in his last six starts. The playoffs would’ve been a disaster.

Kluber has hardly pitched since the beginning of 2019. In totality, he’s been on the field for 24 starts, totaling 116.2 innings. The Yankees would be kind of insane to gamble on his ability to bounce back again. Nope. Move on. Find someone else. The rotation succeeded without him. No reason to spend another $10-plus million on an unknown asset.

As you know, even the right moves fail to work out for the Yankees most of the time. Why in the world would we think calculated risks have any chance of coming to fruition? Wake up.