Properly, they lastly did it.
The Indians, completely determined to commerce a pitcher of Corey Kluber’s caliber, shipped him off to Texas for Delino DeShields Jr. and Emmanuel Clase, a 21-year-old with a reside arm.
Hooooooo boy, do I’ve some #takes on this.
Away we go:
I believe this tweet about encapsulates the state of affairs:
Like I at all times say, when you have a two-time Cy Younger award winner that may assist you to be aggressive in a weak league and division, you simply gotta commerce him. Little question
— Joe (@JoeRiveraSN) December 15, 2019
The Indians are apparently so cash-strapped that they completely had to deal the two-time Cy Younger profitable Kluber for a bundle that features — maintain on, ensuring I am getting this proper — Delino DeShields Jr., who is an effective outfielder however cannot hit, and Emmanuel Clase, a man who throws an 101 mph cutter and confirmed some upside in 2019. (Good outfielder who cannot hit is about spot-on with Cleveland’s model, by the best way.)
That is an Indians crew that was surprisingly within the AL Central race till August and the AL wild-card chase till the late levels of the season. So, yeah, let’s deal Kluber away for nearly nothing as a result of causes.
When you couple this information with the truth that the Indians are supposedly open to buying and selling celebrity shortstop Francisco Lindor simply … what are we doing right here, Cleveland?
Yeah, the Indians had a breakout season from Shane Bieber, they nonetheless have Mike Clevinger and a wholesome and full season from Carlos Carrasco. However, why? They don’t seem to be a crew that is too far faraway from being one of many AL’s greatest groups. They’d a World Collection look in 2016! They’re just about a non-player in free company, and the turnaround from being in a World Collection to eager to tear all of it down is startling, to say the least.
If it is a crew that is not going to need to spend on free company — simply take a look at final offseason, when Carlos Gonzalez was their large free-agent add — then why not go into the 2020 season with a full deck? This commerce just about sums up the state of baseball at present with some franchises. They’d reasonably be possibly aggressive in one other yr or two than be completely aggressive at present, all within the title of saving cash. Is that this the place we’re as a sport?
The Indians did not simply get robbed right here. They walked as much as an armed robber making ready for a financial institution heist, gave him their ATM card and wrote their PIN on a Publish-It observe.
Certain, possibly Clase turns into an all-world pitcher due to Cleveland’s skill to develop pitching. It is actually potential. However why take that threat? That is Corey Kluber. It is a dangerous return.
The one purpose Cleveland does not get an F right here is as a result of Kluber is coming off a freak harm and has some proving to do in 2020, and Clase does have some upside, doubtless as a bullpen arm.
Good job, Cleveland! You bought worse! However, hey, at the least you saved some cash!
MORE: 2019 Rule 5 Draft outcomes
In the event you’re the Texas Rangers, getting Corey Kluber for a middle fielder who cannot hit and a younger, wild-card pitcher is a house run. A slam dunk. A landing.
Clase is the Rangers’ No. 30 general prospect, per MLB Pipeline, however he does have MLB expertise. Clase made his MLB debut final season and pitched fairly nicely: The 21-year-old threw to a 2.31 ERA in 21 video games (one begin) and 1.114 WHIP. Realizing the best way Cleveland can develop pitching, he might probably flip into a terrific pitcher. He actually confirmed flashes of that in 2019.
The Rangers bought higher at present, although there are some questions within the rotation: Clearly, Mike Minor and Lance Lynn had sensational seasons for a stunning Rangers squad, and Kluber did not actually pitch in 2019 due to forearm and belly accidents. However are we actually anticipating Minor and Lynn to be that good once more? It is powerful to venture and anticipate.
But when there’s a possibility to enhance your squad with a pitcher of Kluber’s monitor file, it’s a must to do it. Possibly the Rangers will not compete within the AL West this yr, however they’re going to at the least make the division race fascinating. And if they’ll construct on their 2019 season, they’re going to be a enjoyable bunch to observe.
The Rangers additionally tackle all of Kluber’s cash in 2020 ($17.5 million) which, nicely, is not rather a lot when you think about what Kluber is able to. And — he is bought another yr left, at $18 million, if the Rangers resolve to select up his possibility. If Kluber is nice, then the Rangers bought a top-end man for a crew who might threaten for a wild card. If Kluber is dangerous, it is basically a one-year deal who you traded a fourth outfielder and a aid man for.
Good job, Rangers.
There are different groups in baseball that might have actually matched this worth for Kluber, which is one thing curious. However it’s what it’s — the Rangers ante’d up and bought it finished, and that is what issues.