I don’t believe the poster said that. They said he could be flipped, not that he was acquire to be flipped.
I don’t think he was acquired strictly to be flipped at the deadline. I was merely pointing out that possibility as part of the upside of acquiring him. That’s why I like deals like this. There are basically three possibilities, he either:
This will obviously backfire, and the result will be we set a record for most GIDP by a team, and also set a record for fewest double plays turned.Red Sox quadruple down on their walks thing...
The league average walk rate appears to be 8.2% in 2022 (14,853 walks in 181,978 PAs).
Yoshida 14.5% (Japan)
Jansen is the exception at 8.5%.
Kluber seems to be the exception to their strikeout rate thing, though (20.2%)...
The league average strikeout rate appears to be 22.4% in 2022 (40,812 strikeouts in 181,978 PAs).
Yoshida 8.1% (Japan)
Agree totally on liking this to what Eovaldi received (and TBD on what Wacha receives). I'm just genuinely curious - why Cueto to Kluber?I wanted Cueto, but this is a much better deal IMO than the one Texas gave Eovaldi, and it adds a bit of stability to the rotation.
Kluber was a mild BABIP victim (.318) last season, which contributed to his ERA being .80 above his FIP. So this means a huge split between his 0.7 bWAR and 3.0 fWAR.
You're right that they are very similar: right-handed, low walk, low k, soft-tossing wily veterans. My preference was driven by a sense that Cueto was a bit farther removed from his injury issues, his penchant for going deeper into games, and Cueto's impressive track record of outperforming his FIP while pitching in extreme hitters' parks like Cincinnati and Chicago.Agree totally on liking this to what Eovaldi received (and TBD on what Wacha receives). I'm just genuinely curious - why Cueto to Kluber?
Same age. Looking at the last two years (just because I don't think ANYONE expects either guy to be whom he was in his prime and 2020 was just a clusterf*ck across the board):
Cueto averaged a 1.9 fWAR in call it 23 starts; Kluber averaged a 2.2 fWAR in call it 24 starts (I rounded up for each since they were both at a .5). They've both had significant games missed for injuries in the past 5 years. Cueto has the edge in ERA (maybe that is it?) while Kluber seems to have the edge in xERA and FIP. While Cueto has a bit more consistent K/BB ratio over those two years, Kluber's was far better last season (6.62 vs 3.09).
Using their baseball savant pages, both guys did a good job minimizing hard contact (69th % for Cueto; 80th % for Kluber), limiting walks (88 and 90), and both had good chase rates, though Kluber's was better (74% vs 96%). Neither throw hard at this point (11% vs 2%) but Kluber however got significantly more spin on his fastball (29% to 64%), Cueto doesn't use a curveball and Kluber doesn't use a slider, they both use cutters, traditional fastballs and the change.
I don't have a strong preference either way (though for the reasons above I'd put a slight edge to Kluber over Cueto; call it a 55%/45% favoring of Kluber), and I'm just curious as to why you like Cueto more?
He's not a hugely extroverted excitable guy, after all, he's famous for his lack of expression (that's half the reason he's called Klubot), but he's always been considered a great teammate... likeable, low-key guy in the clubhouse, the sort that teammates would pester until they could get a laugh. All the young pitchers who came up in Cleveland would talk about Kluber and Carlos Carrasco being additional pitching coaches to them. They were leaders of a very fraternal staff -- competitive but completely supportive and sharing what they'd figured out along the way. If any of Boston's young guys are developing a cutter, they should be stapled to Kluber next season.Not for nothing, but Thome talking about this deal on MLBN, and while they recognize the Sox have more holes to fill, he loves this deal from a clubhouse standpoint. He is a really big fan of Kluber the teammate.
His last 5 starts: 22.1 ip, 6.45 era, 3.29 fip (that's an enormous difference!), 1.79 whip, 6.9 k/9, opponents hitting .370/.394/.470/.864 against him.I probably saw the wrong handful of games from Kluber in 2022, but towards the end of the year he was throwing only batting practice junk up there.
He made 6 starts in September, in 3 of them he threw 19 innings and gave up 3 runs against the 2 best teams in the AL, so if he was throwing BP junk those teams couldn't figure it out.I probably saw the wrong handful of games from Kluber in 2022, but towards the end of the year he was throwing only batting practice junk up there. Maybe not a lot of walks, but that doesn't help much when it's a nonstop Laser Show. His monthly splits looked better early in the year, so maybe he was just wearing down.
But what I saw, combined with his velo dropping off a cliff, does not give me any warm and fuzzy feelings. Would have preferred Wacha for sure, not optimistic at all that Kluber has anything close to an average season left in that arm.
Thanks! I admit I hadn’t thought of the park effects with SF being a slight pitchers park but ChW playing more toward hitters, just based on Cueto’s recent seasons.You're right that they are very similar: right-handed, low walk, low k, soft-tossing wily veterans. My preference was driven by a sense that Cueto was a bit farther removed from his injury issues, his penchant for going deeper into games, and Cueto's impressive track record of outperforming his FIP while pitching in extreme hitters' parks like Cincinnati and Chicago.
But Kluber is fine! He's a good pitcher! I'm glad that he seems to really want to pitch in Boston.
How many guys in all of baseball fit this description? Perhaps two dozen? I agree it would be nice to have one or two of those guys, but you’re always going to get most of your innings from pitchers who either have glaring weaknesses or aren’t durable (or both).What we REALLY need is younger pitchers who can be dominant in many aspects.
Exactly. Does it change the landscape of the AL East? No. It provides a seemingly very well liked veteran who can hopefully provide some insurance for Sale/Paxton and hopefully give us some quality innings this season. If anything, he can provide some insight to the younger guys we have entering the bigs.How many guys in all of baseball fit this description? Perhaps two dozen? I agree it would be nice to have one or two of those guys, but you’re always going to get most of your innings from pitchers who either have glaring weaknesses or aren’t durable (or both).
I’d rather have Corey Kluber than Rich Hill; ergo, I’m fine with this signing.
We're not really *banking* on Paxton, though. We have him for $4m and a roster spot, and we can stash him on the 60-day IL as soon as some Spring Training date arrives, so it's not even a roster spot the whole time. It likely just means the roster won't be 100% complete until Spring Training, but that's usually true.Thanks! I admit I hadn’t thought of the park effects with SF being a slight pitchers park but ChW playing more toward hitters, just based on Cueto’s recent seasons.
I also didn’t realize that Cueto had averaged 6.1innings per game this past year (I used 25 g, even though 1 was in relief) vs 5.1 on average for Kluber.
Good pull on each.
*FWIW, I’d be fine adding Cueto too, I think he and Kluber are similar. I would far rather count on him than Paxton (though for free agents I prefer Wacha to Kluber, Cueto, Grienkenand literally giving the ball to a retired Pedro to see what he has left, in that order, over banking on Paxton).
Agreed!Exactly. Does it change the landscape of the AL East? No. It provides a seemingly very well liked veteran who can hopefully provide some insurance for Sale/Paxton and hopefully give us some quality innings this season. If anything, he can provide some insight to the younger guys we have entering the bigs.
Worst that happens is he is toast and next season he won't be here. It's money only and we're still under the tax threshold.
Hernández is already off the 40.The only real problem is with roster spots, though. To add Turner and Kluber will require dropping two players- it’s going to start getting difficult. Ort and Hernandez seem like the next two to go; but they still need to add a backup infielder and probably another of/1b type which will require more moves.
They really need to find a way to move some of the Dalbec, Duran, Seabold types but I suspect there’s no market for those guys so they are going to either have to end up sticking with them which inhibits other moves, or DFA them and end up with little to nothing in return.
We're not really *banking* on Paxton, though. We have him for $4m and a roster spot, and we can stash him on the 60-day IL as soon as some Spring Training date arrives, so it's not even a roster spot the whole time. It likely just means the roster won't be 100% complete until Spring Training, but that's usually true.
$4m of his pitching is worth like, what, two months of starts? If he gives us more than that, wonderful. If he just can't get healthy, it's not a huge commitment.
This is where I am as well. A relatively low cost/low risk move, that has the potential to provide value in terms of Kluber's actual performance, and that also provides the flexibility you noted, both in terms of where to slot guys on the staff, and freeing up some chips to address the needs they still have(I think an outfield bat is first and foremost on my list. They can probably patch the middle infield this year with Story, Arroyo, and Hernandez, when needed). I'm not as down on the off season as some are, to this point. I'm glad they didn't chase the overpays. The pen has been upgraded using a similar approach to Kluber's signing, Bloom took a good(IMO) risk in acquiring Yoshida, and added a useful, versatile piece in Turner. Get an outfield bat, and extend Devers, and it will be a successful offseason. The latter will be a heavy lift, I know.IMO there's not much of anything to dislike here. Is Kluber the potential #1-3 guy that many were clamoring for? No. Is he a good bet to contribute more than Rich Hill and possibly James Paxton? I think so. If needed, the move can also allow Houck to return to the pen or become part of a trade that helps to address the middle of the IF or any further corner OF concerns. Sale, Bello, Whitlock, Pivetta, Kluber and Paxton puts a few more eggs in the "comeback" basket than I prefer, but I think there is potential for a viable 2-5 there.
Good summary. If we extend Devers I'd feel a lot better about letting the kids fight for 2b and moving Story over to SS.I'd characterize every deal this offseason as "fine" with the hypothetical exception of the Yoshida deal which carries a lot more boom (and bust) potential. Still waiting on anything to materialize from all the trade possibilities Bloom was silly enough to tease as if it were a guarantee that he would be making significant additions from that market.
A very tepid, risk-averse offseason so far that would make more sense to me with a stronger core in place and a bunch of blue chippers in Portland and Worcester ready to take Boston by storm. It has been a fill-in-the-gaps offseason for a team that needed gap-filling and then some. A lot rides on what we get from the Whitlock/Bello/Houck trio and what leaps may be taken (or players returned in trade) by our on-the-cusp guys like Mata, Walter, Murphy, Valdez, and maybe Raffaela and Lugo later in the summer.
Resolving the Devers situation and more clarity in the middle infield would help get over the feeling that we are just treading water. Still plenty of time for trades as well of course, but the risk aversion has me wondering what that may ultimately look like.
I think it would make less sense if they had a strong core and bluechippers in Worcester. Because a strong core and prospects knocking is a competition window opening - and that's when you're OK paying someone more money for immediate production in 2023 and 2024, while possibly tying your hands in 2025 and beyond. Hopefully that's where we'll be in the next two off-seasons. (Although I'd still want them to be smart about long contracts.)A very tepid, risk-averse offseason so far that would make more sense to me with a stronger core in place and a bunch of blue chippers in Portland and Worcester ready to take Boston by storm. It has been a fill-in-the-gaps offseason for a team that needed gap-filling and then some. A lot rides on what we get from the Whitlock/Bello/Houck trio and what leaps may be taken (or players returned in trade) by our on-the-cusp guys like Mata, Walter, Murphy, Valdez, and maybe Raffaela and Lugo later in the summer.
I don't want to jinx anything but....he should be ready from the get-go. Paxton had completed the Tommy John long rehab all last year, and was pitching in the minors when he got the grade 2 lat tear. That was mid September. It isn't, generally speaking, a serious injury and he has already has 14 weeks of mending.At this point what does Paxton's return timeline look like? Are we assuming he'll be good by opening day?
Sox are just like those mediocre, cheap-ass Dodgers:Signing Kluber and someone like Cueto to one year deals is something like the Reds or Royals usually do with the hope that one or both, catches a hot few months and can be shipped at the deadline for a B lebel prospect. Wouldn’t surprise me if that is the fate for Kluber if he pitches well this season.
I've no idea if this is a role that Eovaldi would or has embraced, but generally speaking it's always a plus to have a veteran pitcher or two that is willing and able to mentor young players. For a time Kluber was one of the best in the majors and if he's the type to share his thoughts and knowledge on his craft, then that's definitely a bonus to his being signed.Bringing Corey Kluber aboard could come with an ancillary benefit of mentorship for our young pitchers.
I posted this in a part of a longer post in another thread, but it’s a better fit here. I think there's a good chance that Kluber can have a direct impact on pitchers like Kutter Crawford, Josh Winckowski, Tanner Houck, Brayan Bello, Connor Seabold and more. Many of those guys could use (or refine) a third or fourth pitch to make it as starters. Kluber has plenty of recent experience with helping pitchers do that sort of thing.
An article published last spring in a local Tampa paper said that "Kluber was brought in primarily to pitch but secondarily to serve as a 'been-there, done-that' role model and on-call mentor for the young and less-experienced pitchers on the Rays staff." Rays manager Kevin Cash compared Kluber to Halladay in this regard. "The work ethic, the preparation. It's not, get in everyone's face and talk about everything. It's just kind of sit back and watch and lead by example. And he does that as well as any pitcher I've been around," Cash said.
Kluber throws a hybrid curveball-slider, a big sweeping thing that has its own classification (aka the "Kluberball"). It was a tremendously effective pitch for him during his dominant stretch from 2014-18.
There’s been some talk the last couple years about "The Sweeper," a hybrid curve/slider that's become a trend within the league. We saw the sweeper firsthand with Ottavino, but Kluber really put it on the map, at least in modern times, half a decade ago. Here's a report from last April about "MLB's latest pitching weapon".
With the Yankees in 2021, Kluber taught the pitch to Michael King, who was last year's most dominant reliever before he got hurt, and Chad Green, according to this SB Nation blog which pulls from an interview with King.
I can't find any firm reports about pitchers Kluber may have directly helped in Tampa (maybe @VORP Speed knows), but there are plenty of Rays pitchers who developed new pitches in 2022. The most notable is Drew Rasmussen, who entered the year an iffy two-pitch starter and rode a new cutter to an extremely effective season. Jason Adam (slider), Colin Poche (curveball), Shawn Armstrong (sinker) and Raley (changeup) are a few others who added or dramatically increased the usage of new offerings. Obviously we can't attribute all of that to Kluber, but the other reports strongly suggest that his influence helped.
Does this factor change anyone’s perception of the merits of Kluber v. Eovaldi? Regardless, it should interesting to see whether and which Red Sox hurlers add to their repertoires this spring.
[Kluber's] work ethic, said Francona, is something that could positively influence and impact others on the Boston pitching staff.
"It was impeccable, the way he worked,'' said Francona. "I told our guys, 'Hey, if you can keep up with Kluber, good for you.' Sometimes, you get a veteran who says a lot, but doesn't back it up (with his effort and commitment), I'm not sure how helpful that is. But a guy who maybe says less, but goes about it the right way, regardless of what he's doing on the mound -- being a pro, being a big leaguer - that can help guys a ton.
"Everything he did had a purpose. Every side day, every drill.''
Kluber isn't terribly outgoing in terms of his demeanor, and mostly went about his business in an unassuming manner.
"He was far from the loudest guy,'' recalled Francona. "But he didn't need to be. That's just how he is.''
He changed his routine between starts last season, hopefully that helps this year:Last season, Kluber primarily relied on a near-equal usage of his sinker, slider and cutter rather than earlier in his career when his sinker was far and away his primary pitch. Similarly, he’s worked around a dip in velocity from a 93-94 mph fastball in 2017-18 to one that now sits in the high 80s.
“Obviously the velocity isn’t what it was six, seven years ago,” Kluber said. “But to counteract that, I think I’m a smarter pitcher than I was then without having the ability to rely on stuff as much. I think there’s other tools you can use besides just that. I think I’ve learned better how to game plan, how to make in-game adjustments, mid-at-bat adjustments. Some of that is coming from guys I’ve played with, some of that is experience I’ve had myself on the mound. Obviously there are some things that as you age, most people diminish in certain areas, but you can also gain in others as well.”
He went six innings or more in over half his starts last year, which is nice.Kluber said he scaled back on pushing himself extra hard during the four days in between starts and while he still runs and lifts on those days, he’s altered the intense routine he had at the start of his career.
“The focus maybe has shifted more towards prioritizing recovery, not continuously beating myself into the ground because as you get older, it becomes tougher to recover,” he said. “Trying to put more of an emphasis on the recovery aspect of it.”
When you need a cheap veteran starter with local ties who is even younger than Rich Hill, you call the Corey Hotline:Kluber owns a house in Winchester, northwest of Boston, where his wife grew up. He pitched 164 innings over his 31 starts last year, throwing at least six innings in 17 of those starts, including 13 in which he allowed two runs or fewer.
Corey was 6 when this episode aired. I, and many of the rest of us are very old.If the Sox fall out of contention this season, at least we can entertain ourselves during Kluber's starts by thinking of words that rhyme with Corey: glory, story, allegory, Montessori...