Corey Kluber – Starting Pitcher
With two Cy-Young awards to his name, right-hander Corey Kluber was one of the most feared hitters in the mid-2010’s when he was with the Cleveland Indians.
Kluber was an absolute machine, posting 18+ wins four times in his career while leading the league in terms of ERA in 2018 with a 2.25 ERA. For his career, the fourth-round pick of the Padres back in 2007 owns a 3.19 ERA with 1544 strikeouts, 326 walks, and a 1.100 WHIP through 1422.2 innings.
Fast forward to 2021 and Kluber’s career has taken a bit of a dramatic turn. The Stetson alum has struggled to stay healthy, making only 24 starts over the past three seasons. He spent this past campaign with the New York Yankees, appearing in only 16 games while pitching to a 3.83 ERA through just 80.0 innings, missing significant time with a shoulder strain.
While Kluber does have the pedigree and history as a veteran pitcher, the recent injury trend is something to be wary of as he turns 36 years old next season. The right-hander was dominant five to six years ago but the health issues have really derailed him from what he used to be and the risk combined with the amount of salary he would most likely require just does not make sense for the Blue Jays at this time.
His last deal with the Yankees was for $11 million and if he is looking for the same type of term, there is no way the Blue Jays should go anywhere near the former Cleveland ace. If he was willing to take a much lower deal, at least under $5 million, then the risk might outweigh the rewards to have him in the back end of the rotation but the risk will be there that he won’t be able to make 20+ starts for the club and could follow a Kirby Yates type deal where the potential is there but the injuries prevent any traction with the Blue Jays.