The Indians and Rangers might be regretting the Corey Kluber trade.
There is a good deal of optimism surrounding the Texas Rangers as this season gets underway. Not only will the shortened season give them a chance to sneak into the postseason, but they started the year off with former Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber pitching in Texas’ snazzy new powder blue uniforms in their brand-new indoor ballpark. That newfound hope lasted all of…one inning. A scoreless inning, granted.
Kluber, traded from Cleveland to Texas in a move viewed as a steal for the Rangers, was removed from his start against the Colorado Rockies and diagnosed with a grade 2 tear of the teres major muscle in his shoulder, the same injury that sidelined Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger last year. While Kluber has an outside shot at returning in the latter part of the season as a reliever, he will likely not pitch again in 2020.
Both Corey Kluber and Emmanuel Clase will miss large chunks of 2020.
While two players that have yet to achieve stardom in the MLB seems like a paltry return for a guy with two Cy Youngs under his belt, Indians fans could take solace in the fact that they added one of the game’s fastest players in Delino DeShields Jr. and a promising reliever with a 100 MPH cutter in Emmanuel Clase.
While Kluber lasted one inning, that’s still more than Clase and DeShields have managed. The latter is still dealing with the effects of COVID-19, while the former was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. While the Indians landed two players that are both inactive, and won’t move the needle much when active, Kluber will be two years removed from the last time he showed off ace-like performance due to a major back injury.
Rather than helping either of these two struggling teams out, this trade now looks like both teams rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as other teams in the division look to leapfrog them in the hypothetical power rankings.
It appears the MLB world will need to wait until 2021 to see who got the better end of this deal. At this juncture, neither return is looking that desirable.