Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
So Just How Great Is the Deal…
In a word: Unbelievable.
It’s truly unbelievable that the Cleveland Indians were able to get Corey Kluber to sign such a team friendly deal after the year he just had. Even though the Indians have made a habit of signing guys to deals like this over the pat 20+ years, it’s still remarkable that Kluber only got $38.5M guaranteed and only $24M the next four pre-free agent years. Perhaps it was some fatherly advice that Kluber received that helped him decide that Cleveland was where he wanted to be, or perhaps it’s the “Tito Francona Effect” that has players buying in. No matter what it was, one can not commend the job Chris Antonetti did with this deal enough. He very likely may have saved the Indians as much as $17M over the the next four years and $25M over the next five.
Some may point to the deals signed by Madison Bumgarner and Chris Sale and think this Kluber deal is simply par for the course. Yes, both of those players signed 5-year deals in the $30M range; however, neither had anything close to the season Kluber. And yes, I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record saying that, but it’s truly one of the chief things to take away from this deal. Kluber won the Cy Young in 2014. He was still a year away from arbitration. He had untold millions set to come his way if he decided not to sign an extension…and yet, he did. This is deal is colossal for the organization going forward, and I for one am most glad I was mistaken when I said the Indians would regret not signing Kluber last winter. A job well done on yet another great Tribe extension.