By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
As the Red Sox continue to rebuild their starting rotation, a big name has entered the hot stove chat.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Tuesday night that Boston is “showing interest” in right hander Corey Kluber. The 34-year-old has a pair of AL Cy Young awards to his name, winning in 2014 and 2017.
Kluber was an ace for the Cleveland Indians from 2013 to 2018. In that six-year span, he went 94-50 with a 2.96 ERA. He won his pair of Cy Young awards, and appeared in three All-Star games.
Since then though, things have slowed down for Kluber. He broke his arm when it was hit with a line drive in 2019. That, combined with a core muscle injury, limited him to just seven starts that season.
Last winter, he was traded to the Texas Rangers. He threw just one inning there before a shoulder injury shut him down for the abbreviated season. According to Morosi, Kluber is still working his way back from that injury and is expected to throw a bullpen session later this month. That will likely be a local workout, as Kluber spends his offseasons in Winchester, Massachusetts.
So what is the attraction for the Red Sox here? Kluber is on the wrong side of 30 and hasn’t pitched regularly in two years. In that sense though, he provides a cost-effective option in the rotation with major upside.
In Kluber’s last full season in 2018 he was excellent. It’s his only 20-win season to date, during which he posted a 2.89 ERA in 33 starts. If Kluber gives them even close to that performance, he’d be the second or third best starter on the team, depending how and when Chris Sale returns from Tommy John surgery.
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Even if he looks good, but no longer has the arm stamina he did before the run of injures, he could become a valuable option out of the Red Sox bullpen, which also needs some major work. He would also add a veteran presence to what is shaping up to be a young pitching staff. He also has had success pitching against AL East teams in the past.
Kluber would hardly be a one-stop, be-all-end-all for what ails the Red Sox right now, but he would be a step in the right direction. Assuming all goes well with Kluber’s workout or workouts, this is the kind of move Chaim Bloom should be making.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.