After a well-attended showcase on Wednesday, these three teams should take a chance on two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.
After being acquired by them last offseason, Corey Kluber pitched exactly one inning last season for the Texas Rangers. A Grade 2 strain of a muscle in his pitching shoulder shut him down for the season. Coupled with injuries in 2019 while pitching for the Indians, he has made just eight starts and pitched 36.2 innings over the last two seasons. The Rangers easily decided to decline Kluber’s option for 2021.
Kluber is a two-time AL Cy Young Award winner (2014, 2017). Over the five-season stretch from 2014-2018, he posted a 2.85 ERA while averaging 218 innings and 32 starts per campaign. Those days as a workhorse may not be coming back, but 25 teams reportedly attended a showcase Kluber was part of in Florida on Wednesday. Relievers Steve Cishek and Anthony Swarzak were also there, as the three share an agency, but it’s fair to assume teams in attendance where primarily there to see what Kluber looked like.
Nearly 25 teams showed up at Corey Kluber's showcase today, and scouts came away impressed. His fastball sat 88-90 — and he's got more velocity in the tank as he builds toward spring training. Kluber threw 30 pitches, including all of his off-speed stuff. Strong market expected.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2021
After the solid showcase, the market for Kluber could move quickly.
Corey Kluber's negotiations could go quickly after his session in front of scouts today. There is no thought he'll need to throw a second time, given how today went.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 14, 2021
Kluber may land on a new team soon, and these three teams should push to the front of the line.
3 teams who should take a chance on Corey Kluber
Despite early issues with COVID-19 last season, the Marlins rallied and made the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Then they beat the Chicago Cubs in a Wild Card Series, before petering out against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. Still, the future is bright in Miami.
The Marlins rotation is headed by Sixto Sanchez, the underappreciated Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez, who are 22, 25 and 24 years old respectively right now. A veteran presence like Kluber would fit nicely in that mix.
The Marlins are in the mix to make multiple moves right now, so they appear ready to build on last season and make some kind of run at the NL East. Kluber is a worthy flier to bolster the starting rotation.