Should the Colorado Rockies go after Corey Kluber on the trade market?

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 2: Starting pitcher Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on May 2, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 2: Starting pitcher Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on May 2, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 14: Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 14: Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The pros

Simply put, Corey Kluber is one of the best pitchers in the game of baseball. In the past five seasons (including 2018), he has come in the top 3 in AL Cy Young Award voting four times, including winning it twice. The other time (2015), he still came in 9th in Cy Young voting.

In the past five seasons, he has led the AL in wins twice, led in ERA once, games started once, complete games three times, shutouts three times, innings pitched once, ERA+ twice, FIP twice, WHIP once, hits allowed per nine innings once, walks allowed per nine innings twice, and strikeout to walk ratio once.

As alluded to by leading the AL in complete games three times, he is a big innings eater. In each of the past five seasons, his low for innings in a season is 202. He has averaged 218 innings per season. Even if you look at the past three seasons (part of which he was in 2017 for over a month), he has still averaged 211 innings pitched per season.

If he were to join the Rockies, he would provide the Rockies with a veteran anchor to front the starting staff. Having Kyle Freeland and German Marquez as your second and third starters isn’t that bad.

In addition, even though the Rockies would not be addressing a need of the team directly, they could also trade some of their other starting pitchers for more of their needs, like catcher, first base, potentially second base, an outfielder, or some bullpen pieces. We’ll talk about one starter that the Rockies might explore trading later this week.

Finally, the Rockies would have up to three years of control on Kluber as he has two team options for 2020 and 2021. That would also give them some flexibility on the payroll. Say if they resign Nolan Arenado and decide that they can’t afford Kluber for 2020 or 2021 or he has a down season, they can let him loose on the free agent market.

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