The Red Sox have yet to really do too much this offseason, making a waiver claim and Rule 5 protections and that’s about it. Of course, they aren’t exactly alone in that as the offseason has been moving at a snail’s pace, even relative to recent slow offseasons. Part of that could be due to the expected increase in non-tenders this winter, so once that is done tonight that could speed things along at least to some degree.
All that said, it does appear that the Red Sox are at least doing some work on the periphery to get ready to make some moves. The top priority for the team is going to be starting pitching. There is absolutely no way around it. So, it makes sense then that they’d be looking at a former Cy Young winner who is available. That would be Corey Kluber, who Jon Morosi reports is getting interest from the Red Sox.
Source: #RedSox showing interest in free agent Corey Kluber, who makes his home in Greater Boston. Kluber, 34, said to be progressing well from the teres major muscle strain that shortened his 2020 season; he is expected to throw bullpen sessions this month. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 1, 2020
This report doesn’t make it seem as though there is anything imminent, but we’ll take what we can get at this point. Kluber is someone we’ve written up as a target on this site already and makes a ton of sense. You can click that link for a more detailed argument, but the basics are that he has the pedigree of one of the best pitchers in baseball. Injuries have kept him off the field for the most part over the last two seasons, so there is definite risk, but the last time we saw him in a full season he finished third in the Cy Young voting.
That wouldn’t be the expectation if he did sign, of course, but he also wouldn’t get paid like it. Right now the assumption is that he’ll be taking a one-year deal this winter. Even for all of the accolades earlier in his career, he still has tossed only 36 2⁄3 innings over the last two years and is going to be 35 shortly after the 2021 season begins. So there is upside here, and not a whole lot of downside given the one-year deal. If it doesn’t work, that stinks but it’s also not a major issue for the organization moving forward.
Plus, as Morosi notes, Kluber lives in the area in the offseason. That kind of thing never hurts, though money is still typically the deciding factor.