The KC Royals have been active so far and if they are looking to add a little more steam to the mound, there may be a perfect veteran to jump on.
It’s likely surprising to not only KC Royals fans, but everyone around baseball, just how active Kansas City has been so far this offseason. While the team hasn’t made any massive signings, compared to what they usually do, the moves have been pretty big.
There was a lot of talk going into the offseason that suggested this could be the case, but Royals fans know not to get their hopes too high.
Luckily, the moves may not be done yet. Dayton Moore has suggested that more signings could come and at this point, they could come at any position.
While it may not be the first thought, another starting pitcher could find their way onto the roster.
The Royals have gone full force with the youth movement and that’s expected to continue. With Brady Singer and Kris Bubic already likely for the 2021 rotation, there are plenty of other young arms like Jackson Kowar just waiting for their chance.
The Royals, though, could possibly find a reason to give those players another year to develop or at least hold them off until later in the season and use them as needed.
With the loss of last year’s minor league season, many of the prospects will need time before the Royals can really know where they are at. Plus, there is always the chance that one of the veterans will force the team’s hand with underperformance, or one of the young arms already in the majors could need to spend some time sorting things out in the minors.
So, in reality, it might not be a bad idea if the Royals were able to get ahold of a veteran with a high reward, even if only for a year. One that could fall to the Royals on the right deal, is none other than former two time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
Royals fans likely know Kluber not only because of his former dominance but also because it came when he was with Cleveland. Kluber won the Cy Young twice with Cleveland and finished third in voting twice, and ninth one other time. He’s also a three-time All-Star and has finished in MVP voting three times.
Kluber was no stranger to 200 inning seasons, racked up 18 wins three times and 20 wins once and has proven season after season that he can strike batters out and control his pitches, avoiding the walks.
So, why isn’t he signed yet? It’s likely he will be soon, but he could one of the many who struggle to find their desired contract during this fairly slow offseason.
Kluber only pitched 35.2 innings for Cleveland in 2019 and missed the majority of the season after he fractured his right arm. He was traded to the Rangers after 2019 but only threw one inning, tearing a muscle in his right shoulder.
At 34 years old, teams may be worried about how well Kluber will fair during the 2021 season. Injury and health is an obvious concern, and he has hardly pitched in 2 years.
He recently threw for a large number of scouts and while his velocity was good for this time in the offseason and he looked to be on track, there is still a risk associated with his signing.
Luckily for the Royals, these things could make it easier for them to land Kluber. They’ve already shown they are ready to spend money and while it’s possible, many teams may not be willing to bring on the starter for multiple years, at least before they can see how he does on the mound in 2021.
The Royals don’t need a long term starter. They need a veteran who can help push them forward and mentor the young arms they have in the system, even if it’s only for a year. Who better than Kluber?
It could be a long shot and he could still command more than the Royals are willing to pay. As long as Kansas City is being active, though, it wouldn’t hurt to take a chance on someone with Kluber’s resume.
Cory Kluber is still available. While the Royals may not be able to offer what he wants initially, the slow market could make the signing possible.