The San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians are reportedly talking trade for Corey Kluber.
Cleveland is looking to get a bit younger via trade, and the Padres seem like an excellent candidate to possibly attain Kluber. They are not the only team to inquire about the right-handed pitcher, however, as it has been reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Texas Rangers are in on him as well. This will likely increase the leverage that the Indians have and the value that they will get in return if Kluber is dealt.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 14, 2019
Kluber has built quite the resume in his seven years in Cleveland. His 3.16 ERA, 1.086 WHIP to go along with 1,461 strikeouts and 98 wins are all among the league’s best since his arrival. He’s won two CY Young awards in that time, his first one coming in 2014, and his second in 2017. The pitcher was also in the top ten in three other seasons, finishing 9th in 2015 and third in 2016 and 2018.
2019 was very disappointing for Corey Kluber. Injuries plagued his campaign, and even when he was able to make it out on the mound, he was nowhere near as effective as one would expect him to be. His 5.80 ERA and 1.654 WHIP were all career highs since his rookie season. Whoever acquires him would hope that he returns to form and can stay healthy.
Kluber has a very interesting arsenal of pitches. He doesn’t really throw the four-seam fastball, so everything he throws moves. He primarily throws a sinker that he often compliments with a cutter. His sinker used to be around 92-93 mph, but it now sits at 90-91 mph. The cutter typically is at 88-89 mph. His most common offspeed pitch is his curveball, which has good lateral and horizontal movement. And if that wasn’t enough, he also throws a changeup about 6% of the time.
The right-hander is owed $17.5 million in 2020, which seems reasonable considering his past success. In 2021, the pitcher can make $18 million, or a team may choose a $1 million buyout.
The pitcher has a reasonable contract and has a track record of success. That is clearly enticing to several teams. The San Diego Padres, who need a front-line starter, certainly have the pieces to trade for the Indians’ pitcher. He will turn 34 in April, and he is coming off the worst season of his career. The Padres and others will now attempt to outbid each other to acquire the former Cy Young award pitcher. Without overpaying. Good luck.