The Yankees Must Go All-In For Corey Kluber

Within the span of a week, the Yankees saw two possible rotation candidates disappear in Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi, leaving them with even fewer options via the free agent market. Not to worry though, the final “elite” starter they’re seeking is just one trade away in Cleveland, Corey Kluber.

Right now, the Yankees possess an incomplete starting staff of:

  1. Luis Severino
  2. James Paxton
  3. Masahiro Tanaka
  4. CC Sabathia
  5. (Blank)

It’s no secret that they are drastically in need of another legitimate arm to bolster their chances of getting back to the Fall Classic for the first time in nine long seasons. And to be clear right away, the answer isn’t the 36-year-old J.A. Happ or has-been Dallas Keuchel. 

But thankfully, the Indians are reportedly shopping both Kluber and 27-year-old righty Trevor Bauer. Bauer would, of course, be an exceptional addition as well as he posted a 2.21 ERA/2.44 FIP in 175.1 innings with a stellar 11.34 K/9. However, in terms of personal preference, the two-time AL Cy Young award winner in Kluber is who my eyes would be on if I’m the Yankees front office.

Kluber, 32, put up the first 20-win season of his career in 2018 courtesy of a 2.89 ERA/3.12 ERA in 215 innings over 33 starts, striking out a hefty 222. To put it simply, the 3x all-star is stupid good and an asset that the Yankees should not only be all in on but ensured to be wearing pinstripes in 2019. 

Not to mention, he is without a doubt the only starter available on the free agent and trade market that would push Severino down to the No. 2 spot in the rotation, giving the Yankees one of the best rotations in all of baseball. Just imagine:

  1. Corey Kluber
  2. Luis Severino
  3. James Paxton
  4. Masahiro Tanaka
  5. CC Sabathia

Yes, that could be your New York Yankees’ starting five for the 2019 season, giving them five starters who were all once the ace of their respective staff. 

And let’s shoot down the narrative that Kluber can’t perform in the postseason. After all, in the Indians’ 2016 World Series run, he won four of his six playoff starts to the tune of a 1.83 ERA.

Of course, Kluber will come at a very steep price. Any potential deal will start with New York’s No. 1 prospect Estevan Florial and may even have to involve AL Rookie of the Year runner-up Miguel Andujar. But if that’s unfortunately what it will take to put together an absurdly elite rotation, then so be it, especially when Manny Machado awaits in the free agent market.

Bottom line is this. If a deal can be struck, within rational reason, the Yankees need to pounce and prove they are serious about fielding a powerhouse team to push past Boston in 2019.



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