The New York Yankees are headed down a long road with DJ LeMahieu and his contract negotiations, but in the meantime, they should be doing their due diligence on all starting pitchers available.
Of course, premium options like Trevor Bauer are likely out of their price range, but I expect them to be evaluating and considering everybody else since three starters have hit free agency from the Yankees 2020 rotation.
One player that general manager Brian Cashman should be keeping tabs on is Corey Kluber, formerly of the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians. Over the past two seasons, Kluber has only played in 36.2 innings, suffering a tear in his shoulder this past year.
Kluber is expected to begin throwing for teams again shortly, and one insider believes the Yankees should be intrigued.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes that the Yankees would be silly not to consider Kluber as an option this offseason to bolster their starting rotation:
Still, Kluber is holding a mound session on Jan. 13 at Cressey Sports Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and at least the dozen teams that have expressed curiosity will send a scout. The Mets will be among those, The Post has learned. The Yankees would not divulge if they will scout Kluberâ€™s session, but it would be a surprise if they didnâ€™t. Plus, they might have more insight into this player currently than anyone.
Back in 2018, Kluber was considered one of the best starters in all of baseball. He logged a 2.89 ERA with a 44.4% ground ball rate and 9.29 strikeouts per nine.
During his most recent productive season, Kluber utilized his fastball 41.6% of the time, averaging 92 mph. He also heavily mixes in his cutter and curveball, providing a healthy dosage of offspeed pitches and curve to his primary fastball pitch.
I believe Kluber would offer solid production if he is capable of returning to form. In addition, he might accept a one-year deal to prove his worth, which would likely be cost-efficient, something the Yankees and Cashman are currently looking for. Ownership has already indicated they want to stay beneath the $210 million luxury tax threshold, so at least tabbing him as a person of interest is a necessity.