Yankees News/Rumors: Corey Kluber impresses in showcase, Yankees closing in

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JULY 26: Corey Kluber (28) of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Field on July 26, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

It is no secret that the New York Yankees need an influx of starting talent in the pitching rotation, and former Texas Rangers’ arm Corey Kluber could fit the bill. While pitching for the Cleveland Indians in 2018, Kluber earned a 2.89 ERA with a 44.4% ground-ball rate. Having an elevated ground-ball percentage is perfect for Yankee Stadium, with short porches that oftentimes result in home runs. However, Kluber has only pitched in 36.2 innings over the past two years, as injuries have taken their toll.

Kluber pitched in front of 25 teams on Wednesday morning, showcasing his abilities following injuries the previous two years. He’s a former Cy Young-winning pitcher, earning two trophies in the category since 2014. He is also earned All-Star appearances in three seasons, and if he can return to form, the Yankees could easily benefit from his comeback.

MLB Insider for ESPN, Jeff Passan, stated that Kluber looked sharp in his pitching simulation:

Nearly 25 teams showed up at Corey Kluber’s showcase today, and scouts came away impressed. His fastball sat 88-90 — and he’s got more velocity in the tank as he builds toward spring training. Kluber threw 30 pitches, including all of his off-speed stuff. Strong market expected.
A one year deal is in the best interest of Kluber, who can revitalize his career to prove adequacy in 2021. The Yankees are one team that desperately needs support after losing Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and JA Happ to free agency. I continue to harp on Kluber as a fantastic supplement, given his previous success in the MLB.
Kluber clocked in at 88-90 with his fastball, and while some might see that as a negative, he’s never been a speed pitcher. In fact, his career-average speed in the category is 92.7, and we shouldn’t expect him to be at full velocity after missing almost two full years of baseball.
By the time spring training rolls around, the Yankees would have enough time to work him out and get into shape. Considering he’s already familiar with conditioning coach Eric Cressey, the Yankees have the insider track at what needs to be done so he can fit in behind Gerrit Cole with ease.