The New York Yankees are reportedly not looking to make any major investments on the team roster, as they are trying not to surpass a specific payroll number. That’s why pitchers like Corey Kluber, who is rehabbing from injuries, become logical targets for them.
Kluber’s market value is somewhat depressed, as he only threw one inning with the Texas Rangers in 2020 due to a Grade 2 teres major muscle strain in his throwing shoulder. He also was limited to 35 2/3 frames in 2019 because of a fractured arm and oblique issue.
Those injury issues forced him to work a lot during the offseason to get in shape for a showcase to MLB teams, which took place on Wednesday. According to Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic, there were “upwards of 25 teams” at the free agent showcase in Florida. The New York Yankees were one of them.
Luckily for Kluber, he showed enough for MLB teams to consider making offers in the near future. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that “scouts came away impressed” after watching Kluber throw around 30 pitches from a mound while sitting 88-90 mph with his fastball.
Kluber makes too much sense for the Yankees
During his best days, Kluber’s four-seam fastball averaged around 92 mph, so he isn’t too far off from his best version, at least velocity-wise. He still has work to do if he wants to be an effective starter in 2021, but he is on the right path after two years of very bad luck with injuries.
For the Yankees, a pitcher like Kluber makes too much sense given their current financial situation. Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote that “when it comes to Kluber, no team will have a better understanding of his physical condition than the Yankees. The mound session today was at Cressey Sports Performance. The rehab is being done by Eric Cressey, who also is the NYY’s director of health and performance.”
Only time will tell if the Yankees will make a move. They will have competition, though.