Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Yankees sign pitcher Corey Kluber, two-time Cy Young Award winner

Just hours after bringing back The Machine, the Yankees acquired a Klubot.

An incredibly busy 24-hour span for the Yankees — arguably busier than the previous 96 days of their offseason combined — concluded when they signed two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to a one-year, $11 million contract, an industry source confirmed. “Talkin’ Jake” from Jomboy Media first reported the agreement.

Combined with the re-signing of top priority DJ “The Machine” LeMahieu to a six-year, $90-million pact and avoiding arbitration with eight players, the Yankees provided a great deal more clarity to both their roster and their payroll. If they are resolute on not exceeding the $210 million luxury-tax threshold, then they are rapidly approaching that limit — with the structure and luxury-tax implications of the Kluber deal not yet clear — unless they trade veterans to create more space.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2021 at 10:06 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: corey kluber, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. JRVJ Posted: January 16, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6000091)
One would hope that Kluber is healthy, because I really like seeing him pitch when he was at his peak.
   2. depletion Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6000096)
Has he been doing workouts for teams to check him out? A pitching coach should be able to tell if the ball movement and mechanics are in major league form, even if the endurance, after a near 2 year layoff, are not. Even as a 5-inning starter he'd be valuable if he's close to his old form.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:13 PM (#6000099)
A pitching coach should be able to tell if the ball movement and mechanics are in major league form
They have machines for that now.
   4. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:15 PM (#6000101)
He did a workout for something like 25 teams a few weeks ago and everyone said it went really well. I don’t doubt his ability to pitch but whether he can stay on the mound is the question.
   5. cookiedabookie Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6000107)
Honestly, I think I'd rather have Tanaka. He would've cost what, 4/50 at most? I don't fee confident that Kluber comes back healthy and effective after two lost years at his age.
   6. Lars6788 Posted: January 16, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6000123)
The Yankees can employ the clubbie the Angels fired, so Kluber and Cole can get help with their spin rates.
   7. Jack Sommers Posted: January 16, 2021 at 06:24 PM (#6000154)
Actually the workout was just 3 days ago on the 13 th
   8. dolce Posted: January 16, 2021 at 07:31 PM (#6000161)
Kluber's showcase was acceptable-to-good. His strength coach, Cressey, suggested he's ahead of schedule for pitchers at this time of the year independent of context (injury, poor performance, comeback, etc). This is in stark contract to James Paxton's showcase which one might generously describe as "not worse than his 2020 performance."
   9. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 16, 2021 at 11:11 PM (#6000164)
Honestly, I think I'd rather have Tanaka. He would've cost what, 4/50 at most?


Purely from a quality standpoint, sure, because Tanaka is (far) more likely to give you 180-ish innings. But I think it's nuts to expect to get him on a long-ish term contract that pays $12.5M a year. If I were his agent I would laugh that out of the room.
   10. dolce Posted: January 16, 2021 at 11:39 PM (#6000166)
I still think Tanaka's UCL is going to snap sometime during his career, and I think there's an outside shot that, upon returning from TJ, his stuff might be somewhat close to his electric 2014 stuff.
   11. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: January 16, 2021 at 11:53 PM (#6000167)
I still think Tanaka's UCL is going to snap sometime during his career, and I think there's an outside shot that, upon returning from TJ, his stuff might be somewhat close to his electric 2014 stuff.


If it snaps tomorrow he wouldn't be in an MLB game until he's at least 33. I don't think 33-year-old Tanaka is going to replicate his 25-year-old self. I'd bet against that happening for any pitcher.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2021 at 12:05 AM (#6000168)
#9: I was gonna say the same thing but then I looked at it ...

Over the last 3+ years (2017-20), Tanaka is 564 IP with just a 103 ERA+ and a roughly identical FIP, 6 WAR, 1 WAA. He was much better in 2014-16 but that and $4 will buy you a cup of coffee and the Tri-City Valley Cats in 2021.

Lance Lynn signed for 3/$30 before 2019. He's not a "name" and he was coming off a bad year and missing all of 2016 but he was also a guy who regularly gave 180-200 IP and had a 110 career ERA+.

I think the only SP contract so far this offseason is Mike Minor who got 2/$18. Minor missed all of 2015 and 2016, spent 2017 as a reliever and wasn't good in 2020 but over 2017-20, it's still 500 IP and a 126 ERA+ (and again, that's 500 innings despite a season as a reliever and a 60-game season). (Oops there's also Charlie Morton at 1/$15 and Smyly at 1/$11 ... why?)

The Cubs extended Hendricks for 4/$56 in early 2019 (covering 2020-23), buying out his last arb year and 3 FA years. He was coming off 3 years with 529 IP and a 148 ERA+.

There are also a good number of contracts from last year that suggest Tanaka should be able to beat 4/$50: Kyle Gibson at 3/$28, Keuchel at 3/$55, Bumgarner at 5/$85, Pineda 2/$20, Roark 2/$24.

So 4/$50 is probably light but I don't think we can rule it out. "At most 4/$50" is off the mark but I won't rule out it could end up less than 4/$50. Tanaka is a year older than MadBum, a year younger than Keuchel so I'm not sure he can hope for more than 4/$70 either. Mainly he'd better hope his statcast-style numbers make him look more like a 115 ERA+ pitcher than a 100 ERA+ pitcher.

Of course if you believe Tanaka is a 100 ERA+ pitcher then the gamble on Kluber becomes a more attractive alternative. Still I can't say this contract as reported makes sense to me. 36 innings since 2018. I mean 1/$4 with bonuses for each (1? 5? 10?) start makes lots of sense. Or 1/$11 plus an option maybe. The chance he doesn't pitch at all this year must be around 15% and the chance he pitches poorly must be pretty high as well. The chance he's the Kluber of old has to be quite low doesn't it ... and if he is, you lose control after one year.
   13. dolce Posted: January 17, 2021 at 12:12 AM (#6000169)
If it snaps tomorrow he wouldn't be in an MLB game until he's at least 33. I don't think 33-year-old Tanaka is going to replicate his 25-year-old self. I'd bet against that happening for any pitcher.


Yea, I'm not suggesting he'd reclaim his 2014 stuff. I think it's plausible that if the surgery is an inordinate success there's an outside chance his stuff is better than it's been since he was diagnosed with the partial tear and underwent PRP therapy in 2015.
   14. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: January 17, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#6000171)
Given the choice of a guy who has been healthy the last two years or a guy who hasn’t, I’d take the guy who has been. I agree with #10 but I think that’s more a case of pitchers get hurt than anything about Tanaka. We are long enough past the 2015 injury that I think we can declare that decision the correct one for him (and I thought it was a crazy decision at the time).
   15. dolce Posted: January 17, 2021 at 10:47 AM (#6000173)
(14) So the PRP treatment worked as intended, Tanaka was able to pitch without any significant layoff due to his UCL. His stuff, however, was appreciably worse when he returned in 2015. His splitter went from best in the league to pretty good. Tanaka's performance is, in large part, a testament to his ability to pitch and adapt (improved slider, inverting pitch sequences, etc). I get the urge to want to pitch especially as he injured his UCL in his first MLB season. I just can't help but think what could have been had he gotten TJ and returned to previous (or better) levels. In other words, he was looking like a 5-6 WAR per season pitcher in 2014. When he returned from the PRP treatment at the start of 2015 he was largely a 3-4 WAR per season pitcher. Let's say he lost 1.5 seasons to TJ for a loss of 6 WAR. While it would have been difficult for him to recoup the WAR loss, he would've, in theory, been primed to be even better in the playoffs.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6000174)
FWIW, BB-Ref. has these projections for Tanaka and Kluber:

Tanaka: 142 IP, 9-8, 4.31 ERA

Kluber: 65 IP, 5-3, 4.19 ERA

The way I see it, Kluber's basically a flyer with a big upside and an affordable downside, even if the chances that the big upside comes around aren't all that great.

Tanaka didn't even average 5 innings a start in 2020, and got clobbered in both of his playoff starts. I'm not sure he's all that much of a lesser risk than Kluber, especially with a 4 year contract.

   17. dolce Posted: January 17, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6000177)
(16) If anything, with the expanded playoffs, which the Yankees are highly likely to qualify for even without either them, Kluber seems like the better option. I would imagine the higher possibility and, potentially, higher likelihood to dominate in any given start is more significant and relevant in the current "win a WS" equation.
   18. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 17, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#6000186)
Dammit, now this Cleveland fan has reasons to root for guys on the Mets AND the Yankees.
   19. dolce Posted: January 17, 2021 at 02:23 PM (#6000187)
The Sydney Blue Sox lost 10% of their fans (me) and 100% of their Facebook page likes (also me) when they unceremoniously released Manny.
   20. puck Posted: January 17, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6000190)
What? I had to look that up and it's even stranger having read the stories.

There was further confusion when the Blue Sox and ABL claimed via a press release at the time Ramirez's unavailability was ''due to ongoing sensitive and confidential medical reasons''.

The Blue Sox on Monday made reference to ''an ongoing medical issue that is preventing Manny from playing and training with the Sydney Blue Sox''.


Manny says the issue is not drug-related.
   21. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 17, 2021 at 04:08 PM (#6000200)
 My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 17, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#6000186)
Dammit, now this Cleveland fan has reasons to root for guys on the Mets AND the Yankees.


Are you a fan of both Ohio teams or just have Votto in your name for the rhyme?
   22. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6000205)
FWIW, BB-Ref. has these projections for Tanaka and Kluber:

Yeah but any Kluber projection is just a guess. bb-r uses good ol' Marcel. It does include a "reliability" measure which is 50% for Kluber and 70% for Tanaka -- that's the %age of the projection based on actual performance vs. regression to the mean. (The reliability of Kluber's projection is probably higher than it should be.) ZiPS won't necessarily do much better ... they put Tanaka at 4.34 (168 IP, somehow 2.3 WAR); and Kluber at 3.98 in 145 innings (ZiPS must have been high that day) for 3.1 WAR.
   23. TJ Posted: January 18, 2021 at 01:08 PM (#6000284)
Re Tanaka:

According to MLB. Trade Rumors, Mike Minor got two years at $9 million per, Drew Smily and Corey Kluber got one year at $11 million, and Charlie Morton got one year at $15 million. If accurate, how much would you offer Tanaka on a one or two year deal?
   24. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6000331)
#23: c'mon man, at least pretend to have noticed #12. It only takes up 1/3 of the page, shorter than most of my posts so far more digestible.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6000335)
Anyway, do I have this right? The Yanks' rotation at the moment is Cole, Kluber (36 IP 2019-20), Jordan Montgomery (75 IP 2018-20) and Severino (12 IP 2019-20)? Did I miss somebody?
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 18, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6000337)
Anyway, do I have this right? The Yanks' rotation at the moment is Cole, Kluber (36 IP 2019-20), Jordan Montgomery (75 IP 2018-20) and Severino (12 IP 2019-20)? Did I miss somebody?
Carl Pavano.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2021 at 05:22 PM (#6000339)
Anyway, do I have this right? The Yanks' rotation at the moment is Cole, Kluber (36 IP 2019-20), Jordan Montgomery (75 IP 2018-20) and Severino (12 IP 2019-20)? Did I miss somebody?

Deivi Garcia and Domingo German.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: January 18, 2021 at 05:22 PM (#6000340)
Dom German?
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2021 at 05:31 PM (#6000343)
Dom German?

Dom Perignon's cousin from across the border.
   30. dolce Posted: January 18, 2021 at 05:40 PM (#6000344)
(25) German will be back at the start of the season and Severino is projected for a midseason return. Otherwise Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt are expected to be significant contributors.
   31. Ron J Posted: January 18, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6000345)
#25 What's the issue? Surely the recent Yankee track record for keeping players healthy factors into this.

Oh.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2021 at 07:05 PM (#6000348)
OK, German who didn't pitch in 2020 while serving his 81-game domestic violence suspension (got lit up in the winter leagues if that means anything). He's at 240 innings (incl minors time) over the last 3 seasons with a 95 ERA+ and turning 28. Garcia looks promising but will be just 22 and hasn't topped 111 innings in a season yet. Schmidt (also a top 100 prospect pre-2020) is turning 25 and has 120 pro innings, tops 90.

My point being, if there's a team out there that could use (and afford) 1-2 durable, solid starters, it's the Yanks. They should be on the phone to Tanaka.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2021 at 07:30 PM (#6000350)

My point being, if there's a team out there that could use (and afford) 1-2 durable, solid starters, it's the Yanks. They should be on the phone to Tanaka.


Concur. I think they're just posturing to get the price down.
   34. dolce Posted: January 19, 2021 at 01:06 AM (#6000430)
(32) (33) The Yankees waiting Tanaka out seems like one of the more plausible explanations of the Yankees-Tanaka situation.

As far as the Yankees getting under the luxury tax, I’m not sure what benefit there is to resetting it in a “win now” season with this roster. The only rationale I can think of is the Yankees want to condition fans to expect a luxury tax reset every 3 or so years. If they reset it this year it’d be safe to assume this will continue to happen every few years. IF they reset this year, but elect to not reset it at some point in the future when it would have been predicted, the owners will likely receive a heroes welcome similar to when they rewrote the narrative of “the Hal Yankees don’t spend big on FAs” when they signed Cole. In other words, they’re potentially creating leverage by setting the bar low.

   35. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2021 at 01:42 AM (#6000438)
most franchises, and likely especially the Yankees, stagger their expensive luxury suite renewals in varying 3, 5, and 10-year intervals - so that there is no year in which all the chickens come home to roost in any of those cycles.

so if there is that down year or two, you can bounce back without losing most of your inventory.
   36. dolce Posted: January 19, 2021 at 01:56 AM (#6000440)
(35) Sure, that's somewhat standard in a lot of industries. Saas sales is similar despite there not being much relation between cloud software rentals and property + service rentals. What were you getting at?
   37. DFA Posted: January 19, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6000634)
I would be curious to see how other pitchers who had injured shoulders like Klubot have fared. I presume that there are varying degrees of shoulder injuries, but with the little info I have, I would be more bullish on Tanaka than Kluber, though not really bullish on either. The fact that Cashman would likely have all the medicals does give me some pause in terms of my assumptions.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: January 19, 2021 at 05:27 PM (#6000643)
Serious shoulder injuries are usually very bad news (torn cuffs, thoracic outlet which technically isn't a shoulder thing but seems to affect it). I don't know how serious Kluber's was. Presumably he could crank it up well enough at the showcase. Again, giving a guy with Kluber's pedigree something like $4 M guaranteed plus heaps of incentives based on # starts that get him up to a nice payday makes sense to me; or gambling with a sizable guarantee this year but with the reward of a similar-sized option on next year makes sense. I know it's the Yanks and $11 M to them is like $2 M to the Rays but there's a big risk of flushing it.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 19, 2021 at 10:29 PM (#6000718)
Anyway, do I have this right? The Yanks' rotation at the moment is Cole, Kluber (36 IP 2019-20), Jordan Montgomery (75 IP 2018-20) and Severino (12 IP 2019-20)? Did I miss somebody?


Carl Pavano.

Don't forget the fan favorites Ed Whitson, Kenny Rogers, the Fat Toad, Javier Vazquez and Sonny Gray. Reportedly four of them are rested and ready.
   40. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: January 19, 2021 at 11:34 PM (#6000734)
I know it's the Yanks and $11 M to them is like $2 M to the Rays but there's a big risk of flushing it.


Supposedly he was offered comparable amounts and more by other teams. MLBTR:

Since over half the league sent scouts to watch Corey Kluber’s showcase event, it isn’t surprising that there was some significant money on offer for the veteran righty, who ended up signing with the Yankees on a one-year, $11MM deal. Several teams made eight-figure offers, according to SNY.tv’s Andy Martino, and the Yankees’ offer wasn’t the most expensive contract on the table.

Kluber drew plenty of interest from elsewhere in the AL East, as Martino writes that the Blue Jays were one of the clubs “bidding aggressively.” Speier sheds a bit more light on Kluber’s situation, noting that he “seemed most interested in a clean one-year deal” rather than a one-year contract with a 2022 option attached — a structure that would have perhaps been more appealing to the Red Sox, another team with legitimate interest in Kluber’s services.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
cardsfanboy
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Sox TherapyHome for the Holiday
(14 - 9:08am, Apr 21)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-21-2021
(2 - 9:05am, Apr 21)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(12782 - 8:47am, Apr 21)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogNBA 2020 Season kick-off thread
(2730 - 7:36am, Apr 21)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogReport: Javy Báez Declined Cubs’ Offer ‘Somewhere in Range of $180 Million’
(24 - 7:15am, Apr 21)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogInfielder Neil Walker retires after 12 MLB seasons
(5 - 12:33am, Apr 21)
Last: Crispix Attacksel Rios

NewsblogOrder, order, order, OMNICHATTER's takin' the stand! for April 20, 2021
(76 - 12:31am, Apr 21)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-20-2021
(6 - 9:23pm, Apr 20)
Last: The Mighty Quintana

NewsblogThe Case for Slowing It Down
(11 - 8:28pm, Apr 20)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogOT - Soccer Thread - Spring is in the Air
(185 - 8:13pm, Apr 20)
Last: I am going to be Frank

NewsblogDrafting high school pitchers is a suckers game
(7 - 6:42pm, Apr 20)
Last: Smitty*

NewsblogMinnesota Twins, Timberwolves postpone games in wake of police shooting of Daunte Wright
(302 - 4:46pm, Apr 20)
Last: greenback used to say live and let live

NewsblogWhy the Cubs' awful offense could trigger full rebuild if downward trend continues this summer
(25 - 3:23pm, Apr 20)
Last: dejarouehg

NewsblogCarter Stewart Jr., former top-10 pick and potential trailblazer, makes Nippon Professional Baseball
(1 - 1:29pm, Apr 20)
Last: Rough Carrigan

NewsblogYahoo Sports Braves' Sean Kazmar Jr. makes it back to MLB after 12 years in minor league
(13 - 12:32pm, Apr 20)
Last: base ball chick

Page rendered in 0.4182 seconds
48 querie(s) executed