Yankees sign RHP Corey Kluber

January 27th, 2021

The New York Yankees announced today that they have signed two-time Cy Young Award winner RHP Corey Kluber to a one-year contract.

Kluber, 34, made just one start in 2020, tossing 1.0 scoreless inning for Texas before being removed with tightness behind his right shoulder that was later diagnosed as a Grade 2 tear of the teres major muscle in his right shoulder, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. The start was his first Major League appearance since suffering a broken right forearm after being hit by a line drive on May 1, 2019 at Miami with Cleveland.

The Birmingham, Ala., native is one of 21 pitchers in Major League history to win the Cy Young Award multiple times, having done so in both 2014 and ’17. In 2014, he went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA (235.2IP, 64ER) and a career-high 269K in 34 starts for Cleveland, ranking second in the Majors in strikeouts (second in the AL) and fourth in innings pitched (third in the AL), while tying for fourth in wins (tied for the AL lead) and placing seventh in ERA (third in the AL). In 2017, he was 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA (203.2IP, 51ER) and 265K in 29 starts, including a career-high five complete games. That season, he led the Majors in ERA, tied for the Major League lead in wins, ranked third in strikeouts (second in the AL) and was sixth in innings pitched (fourth in the AL).

In 10 career Major League seasons with the Cleveland Indians (2011-19) and Texas Rangers (2020), Kluber has gone 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA (1,342.2IP, 471ER) and 1,462K in 209 games (204 starts). Among active pitchers with at least 1,250.0IP, he ranks third in career ERA behind only Clayton Kershaw (2.43) and Chris Sale (3.03). According to FanGraphs, he owns a 34.6 career WAR, seventh-highest among pitchers since the start of 2011.

The three-time AL All-Star (2016-18) tossed at least 200.0 innings in five consecutive years from 2014-18, joining Max Scherzer as the only two pitchers to reach the plateau in each of those five seasons. Over that five-season span, he led the Majors with 17 complete games, ranked second with 83 wins, 1,091.1IP and seven shutouts, tied for second with 160 starts, ranked third with 1,228K and a 30.3 WAR (FanGraphs) and placed fourth with a 2.85 ERA. During the 2018 campaign, he won a career-high 20 games, second to only Blake Snell (21) for most in the Majors. It marked his fourth career season with at least 18 wins (2014, 2016-18). He has made nine career postseason starts, all with Cleveland, posting a 4-3 record with a 3.97 ERA (45.1IP, 20ER).

Kluber was originally selected by San Diego out of Stetson University in the fourth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft before being acquired by Cleveland in July 2010. He was traded to Texas in December 2019 and had his 2021 club option declined on October 30, 2020.