Well, they finally did.
The Indians, desperate for a Corey Kluber caliber trade, sent him to Texas for Delino DeShields Jr. and Emmanuel Clase, a 21-year-old with a living hand, per reports.
Hooooooo boy, I have some #takes on it.
I think this tweet surrounds the situation:
As I always say, if you have a Cy Young award twice, which can help you compete in a weak league and division, you have to swap it. no doubt
– Joe (@JoeRiveraSN) December 15, 2019
The Indians are clearly required to claim K Young’s victory, twice Cy Young’s, for a package that includes – keep it, make sure I get this – Delino DeShields Jr., who is a good outsider but can’t and Emmanuel Clase, a man who throws a cutter at 101 mph and showed some upside in 2019. (The good opponent he can’t hit is for the mark with the Cleveland trademark, by the way.)
This is a team of Indians that were stunning in the AL Central race until August and the AL wild card chasing until the final stages of the season. So, yes, let’s deal with Kluber for almost nothing, because for reasons.
When you pair these news with the fact that Indians are supposed to be open to trading superstop Francisco Lindor just … what are we doing here, Cleveland?
Yes, the Indians had a breakout season with Shane Bieber, they still have Mike Clevinger and a healthy and full season with Carlos Carrasco. But why? It’s not a team that is too far from being one of the best teams in the AL. They had a World Series appearance in 2016! He’s almost a non-player in free agency, and the rebound from being in a world series wanting to break it all down is astonishing, to say the least.
If this is a team that is not going to want to spend on free agency – just look at the last offseason, when Carlos Gonzalez was their big free agent – then why not go into the 2020 season with a full deck? This trade pretty much sums up the state of baseball today with some franchises. They would probably prefer to be competitive in one or two years than to be absolutely competitive today, all in the name of saving money. Is this where we are like a sport?
The Indians didn’t just go here. They walked into an armed robber preparing for a bank robbery, handed him his ATM card and wrote their PIN in a Post-It note.
Sure, maybe Clase could become a worldwide channel because of Cleveland’s ability to pitch. It’s definitely possible. But why take this risk? This is Corey Kluber. This is a bad return.
The only reason Cleveland doesn’t get an F here is because Kluber is coming from a huge injury and has proven he is doing in 2020, and Clase has some upside, probably as an arm.
Good job, Cleveland! You’ve got worse! But at least you saved some money!
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If you’re the Texas Rangers, getting Corey Kluber for an offensive tackle who can’t hit and a young wild card pitcher is a home run. A sinking sinking. A touchdown.
Clase is the overall prospect of the Rangers 30 series per MLB line, but has MLB experience. Clase made his MLB debut last season and threw quite well: The 21-year-old threw a 2.31 ERA in 21 games (one start) and 1,114 WHIP. Knowing how Cleveland can develop pitching could potentially turn him into a big pitcher. It definitely showed flashes from this 2019.
The Giants have improved today, though there are questions in the rotation: Obviously, Mike Minor and Lance Lynn have had thrilling times for an amazing Rangers team and Kluber has not arrived in 2019 due to forearm and abdominal injuries. But do we really expect Minor and Lynn to be okay again? It’s hard to plan and wait.
But if there is an opportunity to improve your team with a pitcher of Kluber history, you should. The Rangers may not compete in the AL West this year, but they will at least make the division race interesting. And if they can build on the 2019 season, it will be a fun one to watch.
The Rangers also get all of Kluber’s money in 2020 ($ 17.5 million), which is not much when you consider what Kluber is capable of.
Good job, Rangers.
There are other teams in baseball that could certainly match this honor for Kluber, which is weird. But that’s what it is – the Rangers did and did, and that’s important.