A Brief History Lesson for Cleveland Indians’ Front Office Haters

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Corey Kluber

acquired from the San Diego Padres for SP Jake Westbrook

Cleveland cleared house in July 2010, ridding themselves of veteran players such as Jhonny Peralta, Russell Branyan and Kerry Wood all within a matter of days. It was a lost season by all accounts and Antonetti really began building a foundation of young players — both position players and pitchers — who could join the big league club in a matter of years.

At the time of his acquisition, Kluber was 24 years old. Pitching in Double-A, Kluber was 6-6 with a 3.45 ERA. He led the Texas League in strikeouts with 136 over 122.2 innings and was coming off a three-start run where he was 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA. While he wasn’t a highly-rated prospect in the Cardinals organization, Antonetti had done his homework, saying (via Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group):

"He throws between 88 mph and 95 mph and sits at 91-92 mph. He has an average to above-average fastball and a plus breaking ball. He has the ability to miss bats. He gives us another upper level starter who hopefully can be part of our major league rotation at some time."

Again, literally every piece of that has come to fruition in the big leagues. Last year’s Cy Young winner, Kluber has become a bona fide ace in the Indians’ rotation while Westbrook never returned to his dominate form in more than three seasons with the Cardinals.

Next: Acquiring another solid arm