The Cleveland Indians signed 2014 AL Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber to a 5-year extension on Saturday.
With the MLB season right around the corner, the Cleveland Indians have finally locked up their ace the 2014 American League Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber to a five-year contract extension.
Kluber was set to make $601,000 this season–not exactly commensurate with the status he reached in winning the pitcher’s MVP a season ago. He was then set to be arbitration-eligible for the following three seasons, at which time, the year 2019, he could be finally become a free agent.
Kluber is 28 now, meaning he would have hit the free agent market for the first time at age 32. Kluber is a bit of a late bloomer, given that he has pitched just two full seasons in the majors.
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The 6’4″, 215 pound right hander did have 12 starts in 2014 when he threw 63.0 innings but had a rather unimpressive 5.14 ERA and nearly a 1.5 WHIP (he also had three relief appearances as a September call-up in 2011).
He showed considerable improvement in his first full season in the bigs, when he made 24 starts (and had two relief appearances), compiling a 3.85 ERA in 147.1 innings with a solid 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings. His FIP (fielding independent pitching ratio) was 3.30, meaning he was actually better than his ERA suggests.
He had an insane 2.44 ERA in 34 starts, throwing a grandiose 235.2 innings and striking out 10.3 batters per nine innings, which as impressive as it is did not lead the American League.
In fact, the only statistic he led the league in was FIP, which he dropped almost a whole point from 2013 to 2.35–which is simply crazy.
The Birmingham, AL born and Texas high school product graduated from Stetson University in Florida when he was then drafted in the fourth round of the amateur draft by the San Diego Padres.
Kluber won the award, despite not ranking first in any important standard American League pitching statistics (other than starts) by compiling a 7.4 WAR for pitchers, but also by winning 18 games for an Indians team which fell short of replaying its fun 2013 playoff appearance.
Kluber is expected to start Monday’s opener at Houston against Dallas Keuchel, which can be seen on ESPN.
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