7:37pm: It’s a done deal, pending a physical,
After a couple of quiet months, the Yankees have certainly been active on Friday. Hours before the Kluber news came down, they made major progress toward re-signing star second baseman DJ LeMahieu for six years and $90MM. The 34-year-old Kluber won’t pull in that type of contract, but as a two-time American League Cy Young winner, he’s clearly a high-profile pickup for a Yankees team in need of help in their rotation.
During his peak years in Cleveland from 2014-18, Kluber averaged about 218 innings per season and combined for a stellar 2.85 ERA/2.99 SIERA with a 28.5 percent strikeout rate and a paltry 5.2 percent walk rate. There was no reason to expect a drop-off heading into 2019, but Kluber hasn’t been the same since then. He threw 35 2/3 innings in the first few weeks of that season and was tattooed by opposing offenses, who totaled 23 earned runs on 44 hits and 15 walks (38 strikeouts) against Kluber before he succumbed to a fractured right forearm on May 1. That proved to be Kluber’s final outing with Cleveland, which traded him to the Rangers for reliever Emmanuel Clase and outfielder Delino DeShields in December 2019.
More to come.