34-year-old Corey Kluber is a 2021 free agent. Should the Mariners pursue the two time Cy Young Award winner?
At one point, Corey Kluber was one of the scariest pitchers to face as a batter. The former Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers pitcher has won two Cy Young Awards and was an All-Star three times. Kluber had five consecutive dominant seasons from 2014 to the 2018 season, all with the Indians.
Kluber missed most of the 2019 season with a fractured ulna bone in his throwing arm and the Indians did not see him as part of their future with young pitchers making their way up in the organization. In December of 2019, the Indians shipped off their veteran starting pitcher to the Rangers who only had one more year on his contract.
The Rangers did not give up much in return to bring in the injured Kluber, who was a high risk / high reward asset at the time. The team was excited for Kluber to pitch in 2020 after his solid intrasquad outings during summer camp. In his first 2020 outing against the Rockies, Kluber was pulled after the first inning due to right shoulder tightness. He would later be diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of the teres major muscle in the back of his right shoulder.
As you could imagine, the Rangers declined Corey Kluber’s club option for $18 million. Kluber was recently cleared for his normal offseason routine so he will begin working his way back for a 2021 season. Now the big question remains, should Jerry Dipoto and the Seattle Mariners pursue Kluber or not?