Cleveland Indians Wroundtable: Which Pitcher Would You Keep for Five More Years?

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Aug 21, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) walks back to the dugout after the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Minnesota Twins win 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

K-Pocalypse Pitchers: Corey Kluber, Continued

Katrina Putnam: It’s Kluber, all the way, and the fact that people still haven’t accepted that he might be one of the Indians’ greatest pitchers of all time incredibly disappointing. Kluber is leading the league in strikeouts, again. He’s got one of the best ERAs in the game. The Cy Young is not a one-hit wonder award. Look at the last few years: Max Scherzer, David Price, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Zach Greinke, Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia – the list goes on and on. None of these pitchers popped up out of nowhere, collected their award, and then scampered off to disappear from the pitching landscape. These are perennial All-Stars – aces, who carry their teams for years. Kluber is almost 30, but he’s a young almost-30 – no significant injuries, and only one lengthy season in the big leagues.

Lee is actually a very good comp for Kluber – he also struggled early, until his age 29 season when he won the Cy Young. His fifth season after that would have been 2013, when he was 34 years old. He went 14-8 with a 2.82 FIP, plus had the second most strikeouts in the National League with 222. Even last season, when he was 35, Lee was 4-5 with a 2.96 FIP on one of the worst Phillies teams in history. Injuries cut his season short, but he has a lot more high-stress innings on his arm that Kluber, and the Phillies weren’t competing anyway, so it made sense to let him recover. Bauer is a walk machine, and Carrasco and Salazar haven’t quite put it all together despite numerous chances, so I’m taking the much more reliable Kluber, even knowing the last year of his contract could be an injury struggle.

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It was the Tribe’s resident mechanical expert who garnered the most votes.

Next: K-Pocalypse Pitchers: Trevor Bauer