2. Corey Kluber
Veteran starting pitcher Corey Kluber was signed back in January as a way to bolster the starting rotation. Although he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning, some Red Sox fans had hope that the two-time AL Cy Young winner could rekindle the magic at least one more time.
Unfortunately, the only magic the 37-year-old showed this year was the disappearing act.
The Kluber of old has been nowhere to be found this season. He’s made 15 appearances (9 starts) across the year, going 3-6 with a career-worst 7.04 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP.
Again, bounce-back seasons happen all the time, but I don’t foresee one with Kluber. He’s going to be 38 shortly after the 2024 campaign begins and hasn’t even stepped foot on an MLB mound since June 20 due to shoulder inflammation.
One decision the front office must make this offseason is whether to pick up the veteran hurler’s $11 million club option. I speak for myself (and other Boston fans) when I say that doing so would be a disaster.
Yes, James Paxton and Chris Sale proved they could be reliable pitchers following devastating injuries, but nothing about Kluber’s pre-injury play this season indicates that he’s capable of better results.
With the Red Sox owning the MLB’s ninth-worst starting ERA (4.74), it’s time to trim the fat. Fortunately, it won’t be tough to find a better option than Kluber.