Corey Kluber Trade Reaction: Rangers add a big question mark for 2020

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor

Kim Klement USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers are in the final stages of a deal that would send two-time American League Cy Young victor Corey Kluber from the Cleveland Indians to Arlington.

He is under contract for $17.5 million in 2020, with a club option in 2021 that becomes a vesting option in the event of a trade. Those are all alarming signs, though it's worth remembering that Kluber had a 5.06 ERA through six starts in 2017 before going on the IL and then came back to post a 1.62 ERA over his final 23 starts to win his second Cy Young award.

Kluber underwhelmed in 2019, making just seven starts due to a fractured forearm and a strained oblique.

The right-hander missed most of last season after his arm was broken by a line drive on May 1 in Miami. The Indians are close to completing a trade that will send the two-time Cy Young Award victor Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. Outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. and reliever Emmanuel Clase are headed to Cleveland in the deal, according to reports.

The Indians believe the time is right to move Kluber.

That's a tough question to answer for many reasons, not least of which is the season Kluber just had. You can't go into 2020 expecting Cy Young-caliber Kluber, although this is far from a Felix Hernandez situation. The Rangers' signings of Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles added additional depth behind incumbent veterans Mike Minor and Lance Lynn.

Kluber's fastball averaged 94.6 miles per hour in 2014 and was down to 92.4 in 2018 and 92.3 last season.

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