Corey Kluber did not have a chance to pitch much at all with the Texas Rangers. The 34-year-old native of Birmingham, AL actually only pitched one inning during the entire 2020 Major League Baseball regular season due to a torn teres muscle in his upper shoulder. On Friday, Kluber signed a one-year contract worth $11 million from the Rangers according to Bryan Hoch of mlb.com.
Kluber was initially traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Texas Rangers with cash considerations for outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. of Easton, MD, and reliever Emmanuel Clase of Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic, on December 15, 2019. Clase was suspended 80 games on May 1, 2020, for testing positive for the drug Boldenone. As a result, Clase missed the entire 2020 Major League Baseball regular season, and will be forced to miss the first 20 games of 2021.
Kluber’s inning of work in 2020 came in a 5-2 Rangers loss to the Colorado Rockies on July 26. He got the start and only pitched to the minimum of three batters as he struck out David Dahl looking on seven pitches, walked Trevor Story before he was caught stealing second base, and forced Charlie Blackmon to pop up to second base. That folks was it for the former Cy Young winner, as he had to leave the game after only 18 pitches due to a significant shoulder problem.
There are hopes by Yankees management that Kluber will be able to return to his form he had with the Indians before his shoulder problems were an issue. In 2014, Kluber won his first of two Cy Young Awards with Cleveland, as he posted a record of 18 wins, and nine losses, with 269 strikeouts, and an earned run average of 2.44. Then in 2017, Kluber led Major League Baseball with 18 wins, after leading the American League in wins three years earlier. He had a record of 18-4, 265 strikeouts, three shutouts, and an earned run average of 2.25. If healthy, Kluber would fit into the number two spot, behind ace Gerrit Cole, in the Yankees rotation for 2021.