It’s no secret that the Red Sox are in dire need of starting pitching.
They will enter spring training with just Eduardo Rodriguez and Nate Eovaldi locks for the rotation. The team hopes Chris Sale, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, will return by July. Still, it would be unfair to expect the ace lefthander to be 100 percent.
The Sox’ thin rotation is what makes righthander Corey Kluber that much more interesting, despite Kluber losing much of the last two seasons to injuries.
On Wednesday, Kluber, who is a free agent, held a showcase in front of roughly 25 teams (including the Red Sox) in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and he impressed, reportedly sitting between 88 and 90 miles per hour on his fastball.
“He looked healthy,” one team executive told the Globe. “His arm was working well, his fastball was near average, with some life at the plate. He flashed his offspeed stuff with decent shape/feel to land this early in the winter.”
When healthy, Kluber is one of the best pitchers in the game. He’s a two-time Cy Young Award winner with four top-five finishes in Cy Young voting. Kluber has a career 3.16 ERA with 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
During the 2019 season, Kluber pitched just 35⅔ innings before suffering a right ulna fracture. That offseason, Kluber was dealt from Cleveland to Texas for outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. and pitcher Emmanuel Clase.
Last season, Kluber pitched just an inning with the Rangers before tearing the teres muscle in his pitching shoulder. Considering his injury history, there is a scenario in which the Sox might be able sign Kluber to a cheaper deal than his résumé would suggest.
Kluber, who will be 35 in April, also has Massachusetts ties. His wife, Amanda, is from Winchester, which is where the couple and their three children reside during the offseason.