Boston Red Sox Rumors: Corey Kluber is worth the risk

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 20: Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during game one of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves at Progressive Field on April 20, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 20: Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during game one of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves at Progressive Field on April 20, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Boston Red Sox are reportedly interested in adding Corey Kluber to their starting rotation mix.

The Boston Red Sox haven’t been afraid recently to take a risk when it comes to finding starting pitching depth to add to their rotation.

Ahead of the 2020 season, Boston took a gamble on Collin McHugh, who missed a chunk of the 2019 season due to a lingering elbow issue, in an attempt to shore up their starting rotation. Unfortunately, McHugh continued to experience elbow discomfort and decided to sit out this past season.

But it appears that the Boston Red Sox are willing to try again and bring in another veteran coming off an injury-plagued campaign in two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.

Bringing in Kluber makes sense for the Boston Red Sox for a number of reasons. First and foremost will be his price tag.

After logging just 35.2 innings in 2019, Kluber was shut down for the year in 2020 after tossing one inning in a Texas Rangers uniform. It would be the only inning he ever pitched in Texas after the Rangers elected to decline his 2021 option, letting Kluber explore the free agent market.

Now nearing 35, teams won’t be willing to offer more than a one-year deal as Kluber looks to rebound and show the league that he still has a few more miles left in the tank.

There’s a lot of risk in signing Kluber this winter, considering his age and the fact that he’s missed the vast majority of the last two seasons due to serious forearm and shoulder injuries, but the reward for offering Kluber an opportunity and having him rebound greatly outweighs the risk.

From 2014-2018, Kluber logged between 203 and and 235 innings each season, winning two Cy Young Awards (two third-place finishes) and making three All-Star appearances while winning 83 games and striking out 1,228 hitters in those five seasons. The highest WHIP he posted in one of those campaigns? 1.095.

He was worth a combined 31.6 Wins Above Replacement during that span as he dominated his way through American League hitters as a member of the Cleveland Indians.

Kluber very likely won’t return to that form, but if he’s healthy and can be just a fraction of his old self, the Boston Red Sox would have themselves a much-needed starting pitcher to count on.

With Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez working their way back to the mound, Boston will have to rely heavily on arms like Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck, and Nick Pivetta. While Eovaldi can handle a mid/backend rotation role, Houck and Pivetta have yet to prove they can be reliable options across a full season, but Pivetta did flash a bit after coming over from Philadelphia and Houck was impressive in his rookie debut this past season.

Red Sox and Cubs as trade partners?. dark. Next

Adding Corey Kluber to the mix gives the Boston Red Sox a veteran option with a high-upside in their starting rotation. If he doesn’t work, the Red Sox move on and try again elsewhere, but if Kluber rebounds, this Boston rotation that ranked dead last among MLB rotations with a combined 0.4 fWAR in 2020 will be much-improved as the Red Sox look to climb their way back out of the cellar of the AL East.