Free agents are starting to come off the board in a hurry as many look to secure their next deals ahead of the lockout that’s likely to grip MLB on Dec. 1. As for the Chicago Cubs, they kicked things off by picking up Wade Miley off waivers and adding outfielder Harold Ramirez from Cleveland. But there’s still work to be done when it comes to the staff – and one guy who could be a perfect buy-low target is Corey Kluber.
Kluber is a name that has mixed reviews at this point in his career. The 35-year-old has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the game but has struggled to stay healthy the past few years. The right-hander has spent 11 years in the league with a career ERA of 3.19, 9.8 K/9 and 1.1 WHIP.
He’s a two-time American League Cy Young winner (2014 and 2017), the 2017 ERA champion (2.25), a three-time All-Star (2016-2018) and has made nine postseason starts, going 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA.
Kluber signed his big deal with Cleveland for five years and $38.5 million in 2015 and has been living via the one-year-deal the past few seasons. He’s currently coming off a one-year, $11 million deal with the Yankees and is an unrestricted free agent.
Injuries are obviously a concern with Kluber but this is a perfect opportunity for the Cubs to step in. We all know how much this front office loves those one-year, prove-it deals and they could get Kluber – and his tremendous upside – in such a fashion.
Chicago Cubs: Corey Kluber is a low-risk, low-commitment move
The Cubs desperately need pitching help, coming off a season where they finished 27th in baseball with a 4.87 team ERA. It’s important to surround some of the young arms like Justin Steele and Adbert Alzolay with veteran leadership and Kluber would be the perfect guy to pair with Kyle Hendricks at the front of the rotation.
Low-cost, high-ceiling, veteran leadership and postseason experience are all traits that make Kluber an interesting option this offseason. The low commitment, low-risk deals are ones this front office likes to make because of the value associated with them. While we don’t want these to make up the entire roster like we’ve seen in years past, sprinkling in a few will go a long way to round out this roster.
I am all for taking a chance on Kluber. Cubs fans should know him from the 2016 World Series and if there’s a chance to get a guy who’s only a few years removed from a Cy Young, it’s one to take advantage of.
We all know the work Hoyer has in front of him and his success will be in the details. We all want to speculate about the big names this team could go after, but we know the importance of those smaller signings and how they really determine the depth and success the team really has.