Corey Kluber Attempting a Comeback
Free agent starting pitcher Corey Kluber is expected to throw a showcase for teams. The news was first reported by Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. It was later confirmed by Jon Morosi of MLB Network on Twitter.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 18, 2020
For any team that signs Corey Kluber, it is an obvious risk. Kluber made one start for the Texas Rangers last season and only lasted an inning. During that start, he was pulled out of the game and was placed on the 60-Day Injured List at the end of July with a right teres muscle tear. As a result, the Rangers bought out the 34-year-old, making him a free agent.
Kluber was drafted during the fourth round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. He made his MLB debut for the Cleveland Indians on September 1st, 2011 against the Oakland Athletics. Kluber spent nine seasons in Cleveland pitching to the tune of a 3.16 ERA. Furthermore, in that sample he started a total of 204 games, had a 2.99 Fielding Independent Percentage (FIP), and a 9.8 K/9 rate.
That offseason, the right-hander was traded to the aforementioned Texas Rangers for outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. and reliever Emmanuel Clase. At the time, the Rangers were looking to add some veteran pieces to their starting rotation in hopes of contending in 2020. Obviously, that did not pan out as expected for the Rangers.
Next Steps for Corey Kluber
Given the heavy demand that there always is for starting pitching around baseball, Corey Kluber should draw some interest. That interest will likely come from teams that are willing to take a gamble. Furthermore, it will be teams looking for some additional depth in their starting unit.
Although Kluber likely won’t be an old shell of himself, he is still a valuable pitcher to add to any starting rotation. With the ten years of major league service time under his belt, he can help to mentor young arms in any organization. That alone should be enough of a selling point for him to land a short-term deal.
However, none of that is a guarantee until the showcase happens. For now, it’s all about preparing for the upcoming showcase for Kluber and doing enough in that showcase to sell himself.
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