This is one of the worst offseasons in MLB history as the league was already trending towards 30 owners all pretending as if they are too poor to give players more than minimum wage. Last season’s Covid year negatively affected everyone’s books and now these billionaires have even less incentive to sign guys.
It was even more baffling to see the New York Yankees, the richest franchise in sports, be radio silent throughout the entire winter.
The Bronx Bombers haven’t won a title since 2009 and ownership seems to believe that the best way to get back to the World Series is fake poverty. Bold strategy but it appears as though their bank holiday has ended and cash is being wired after signing Corey Kluber to a 1-year $11 million deal.
It’s easy to either shrug this signing off or overreact to what he can actually do at age 34. Let’s overreact for a sec. Walk with me.
2014-2018 was the Corey Kluber era.
During that 5-year stretch, he won 5 Cy Young awards along with 2 All-Star selections. He even had the lowest ERA in the league once. Among starters during that period he was 2nd in Wins (83), 4th in ERA (2.85) 3rd in strikeouts (1,228) and 1st in complete games (17). Ace shit.
If the Yankees can get any version of this Kluber every 5 days then they just completely took their team to another level, especially considering that Luis Severino is expected to return in the middle of summer thus giving the Yankees a star-studded rotation of Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino and now Corey Kluber. Not to mention the trade rumors involving Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar packaged for another starter like Luis Castillo in Cincinnati.
It’ll be pitchers like Jordan Montgomery and Deivi Garcia that raises the Yankees ceiling and potential but it’s moves like the Kluber signing that raises their floor. He guarantees an increased minimum level of success.
Obviously there is a gigantic elephant in the room called the injured list. Corey Kluber has played a total of just 36 innings in the last two seasons including one 1 inning for the Texas Rangers last year after tearing his shoulder.
BUT, he went 3 up, 3 down in that one inning last year. He’s still got it. All he has to do is make it through the season and he’s the second most trustworthy postseason starter on the roster. Yankees might’ve fucked around and stolen an Ace off the free agent market while no one was looking.
Corey Kluber: Yankees legend.