For years, Corey Kluber has mercilessly dominated the Detroit Tigers. Though he may still continue to do so, it will not happen as often going forward. According to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Texas Rangers are finalizing a deal to acquire Kluber.
The Rangers, who were among the finalists for third baseman Anthony Rendon, have been looking to make a splash this winter. They have already dealt outfielder Nomar Mazara to the Chicago White Sox, and will be opening a new ballpark in 2020. Coming off a 78-84 season, Texas has a decent young core in place with some talented hitters in their prospect pipeline. They received surprisingly decent pitching from the likes of Lance Lynn and Mike Minor in 2019, and are hoping that Kluber can solidify things at the top of their rotation.
They are gambling a bit on him, though. The two-time Cy Young winner only pitched 35 2⁄3 innings in 2019 due to a broken bone in his forearm. He didn’t pitch well in those seven starts either, allowing a 5.80 ERA. He will be entering his age-34 season in 2020, and has one year left on his current contract with an $18 million team option for 2021.
Given the short duration left on Kluber’s current deal, the return for Kluber’s services likely won’t be substantial. Cleveland has been looking to offload his salary for the better part of a year now, and they are now trading him at his lowest value.
We will update this article as more details become available. For now, enjoy the news that Kluber is no longer a division rival.