The Rangers will reportedly decline Corey Kluber’s $18MM option in favor of a $1MM buyout after the right-hander missed nearly the entire 2020 season due to a Grade 2 teres major strain. However, it appears as though that injury is behind him, as WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Kluber has been cleared for his normal offseason routine.
No timeline for Kluber’s recovery was provided at the time of his injury. Both he and teammate Jose Leclerc sustained the same injury within days of one another, and the Rangers announced that both would be shut down entirely for a month before attempting to throw.
It’s perhaps worth noting — if only to highlight the bizarrely connected web of players with this injury — that the Indians put an 8-12 week timeline on one of their relievers when he had a similar injury back in March: right-hander Emmanuel Clase … whom they landed from Texas in exchange for Kluber. In 2019, another Indians righty, Mike Clevinger, missed about 10 weeks with a teres major strain of his own.
Every injury is different, of course, but those broad timelines, paired with Bradford’s report, suggest that Kluber’s injured muscle has largely healed up by this point. Still, as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd noted as soon as Kluber hit the 45-day IL, it always seemed likely that the $18MM option price would be deemed to risky. That much was apparent even before the Rangers struggled through a dismal season as a whole, finishing with one of the game’s worst records, and began talking of a youth movement.
Unsurprisingly, fans of just about all 30 teams clamored on social media yesterday for their club to be the one to buy low on Kluber this winter. Interest should indeed be widespread, particularly if he is indeed able to go through his typical routine and can be expected to be full-go come Spring Training. Kluber should have a variety of offers to sift through even in spite of a pair of injury-wrecked seasons. His 2019 injuries — a fractured forearm after being hit by a comeback liner and an oblique strain — were fluky, after all.
It’s hard to imagine any club going beyond two years given the missed time and the sport’s revenue losses, and any multi-year offer would probably come with a relatively muted annual rate. Speculatively, a strong one-year offer with a contender would figure to be appealing for Kluber. That would give him the opportunity to reestablish himself for a return to market next winter and to allow him some control over his future for the first time in his career. He’d surely be hit with a qualifying offer at season’s end if he bounces back, but a healthy Kluber would also be a lock to reject that and still find strong interest in free agency.
It is going to be interesting to see what kind of contract he ends up getting, especially in this market. It is all going to depend on how he looks in a few months but i’ll predict he ends up getting 1 year 12 mil, perhaps some of that incentive laden
Go to The Twins on a 1yr+ an option
Smells like the Red Sox? One year prove it deal around 10 million? Bring back Lester as well, perhaps to fill out that rotation.
As much as I loved Lester in Boston and hated it when they didn’t resign him, Boston would be foolish to bring him back now. He had a bad year. Velocity is way down, K rate is way down and his ERA and FIP are way up. There are better and cheaper options to bring into the rotation this year outside of Lester.
As I said yesterday, it’s highly unlikely that Kluber resigns with a rebuilding Texas team. He’s going to want to go to, and more importantly be sought after by contending clubs. A relatively healthy Kluber could be the final piece of the puzzle for a contender. I wouldn’t be surprised if San Diego got into the Kluber sweepstakes.
Does a Garret Richards-like deal from the Padres pull Kluber to SD? 2 years 15/16 mil? Second question, is that even worth it from a Padres perspective?
I see a lot of uncertainty coming from the owners on budgets this offseason. Big offers will be hard to come by.. As such, I expect a lot of pillow contracts, with guys like Kluber signing pretty cheap one-year deals and hoping for a more normal market in 2021-2.
Future Angel or Yankee.
Expected numerous Padres rumors aside which show up each and every time there is a free agent available, the pitching starved Angels probably might pony up the most money and who wouldn’t want to live and work in SoCal.
Another possibility would be a team at the top of their league, stocked roster and probable playoff participant who would be willing to highly incentivize a deal….Twins, Yankees, Oakland…yes a final pitching piece where he wouldn’t have to be the Kluber of old, but could be the final piece of the puzzle.
I do seriously think we re-sign him. He would be a big enough name to excite fans for his starts, and if he came back into form we could easily trade him to a contender. We have tons of money freed up, and he would only be around 10 mil. (which if Gausman was worth the risk last year, Kluber is easily worth it). Who knows, maybe it’ll net us a nice few prospects at the deadline. Sign him and Archer just to fill in some spots in the rotation for 21′.
Padres on Line 1.
He’d be a good fit on just about any contender. He seems like the kind of guy AA would go for.
Such as…? Shopping, Netflix, organizing that closet, fixing the garage door etc.?
give him some credit – he went unscored upon as a Ranger
My bet is Phillies or Mets. Both of those teams go after these types of guys
Angels seem like a logical fit. Injury jokes aside, they have a need in the rotation, and his former pitching coach is there
Kluber to the Cubs, who says no?
Yankees are a possibility. Matt Blake and Eric Cressey (both currently with the Yankees and running their pitching system) was with Kluber in Cleveland. Yankees basically only one proven starter and a whole lot of question marks (until Severino returns) under contract for next season. If Kluber is looking for a 1 year deal with a contender in need and willing to pay him in the $10-12 million range it’s probably still the Yankees. And he’ll be working with guys that he’s familiar with.