Cleveland Guardians rumors: Does a reunion with Corey Kluber make sense?

Wild Card Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Cleveland Guardians - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Cleveland Guardians - Game Two / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians could go in a number of directions to help improve the team the rest of this offseason. While the offense has been the major focus so far, there's certainly a case to be made that the starting rotation could use a little more depth.

That being said, there are some intriguing options out there on both the trade and free-agent fronts. Allegedly, Carlos Carrasco is available from the New York Mets, and another old friend in Corey Kluber is currently a free agent.

So Should the Guardians Sign Corey Kluber?

Would Kluber, turning 37 next season, be worth bringing back as a veteran presence for the back-end of the rotation?

He is, of course, one of the best pitchers in Cleveland baseball history. For a five-year stretch from 2014 to 2018, Kluber was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball as well, winning two Cy Youngs and almost single-handedly carrying the then-Indians to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series.

And despite some gnarly injuries since then - including a fractured right arm and various shoulder issues - Kluber has pitched pretty well when healthy. He threw a no-hitter with the Yankees in 2021, and had a decent season with the Rays in 2022. Though his ERA in 31 starts was 4.34, Kluber had a much more respectable 3.57 FIP and actually led all of baseball with only 1.2 walks per nine innings. His xERA was 4.00 and he did sport the highest xBA of his career at .261, but it's clear Kluber still has some of that juice left.

There's a distinct possibility the Guardians could be parting ways with either Zach Plesac or Aaron Civale sometime soon. It could happen as part of a trade this offseason or either one could simply get squeezed out by one of the billion talented pitching prospects in the system. But the Guardians don't want to just rely on endless raw talent if they can help it; Kluber would help bridge the gap to the new generation of Cleveland pitchers should Plesac or Civale be used as part of some type of trade.

Maybe it's just a slight desire to go on a nostalgia tour and reunite some of Cleveland's baseball past with its exciting future. But Kluber would genuinely be a solid addition to the back-end of the rotation at the right price - and if he can stay healthy.