Yankees Rumors: Corey Kluber Passed on Bigger Contract Offer to Sign with NYY

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJanuary 18, 2021

Tom Pennington

Corey Kluber reportedly did not sign with the highest bidder in free agency. 

The New York Yankees were just one of several teams that were interested in the star, but they ultimately won the sweepstakes on a day that saw them win big with another free agent, re-signing D.J. LeMahieu. And they did so with a cheaper offer than those of some of Kluber's other suitors. 

SNY's Andy Martino reported Sunday that "multiple teams" were ready to pay Kluber above $10 million, but the Yankees won out with a one-year, $11 million deal. 

"It came down to a desire on the part of Kluber and the Yanks to work together," Martino wrote.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner (2014 and 2017) is still looking to get back to his days of success. He threw just 18 pitches in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season before he tore his right shoulder muscle, abruptly ending his first start since he broke his right forearm when he was hit by a line drive in May 2019. 

His dominance came during his time with Cleveland, where he played for the first nine seasons of his career up until he was traded to the Texas Rangers last offseason. The Rangers did not pick up his option for the upcoming year. 

Through his nine seasons with Cleveland, Kluber amassed a 3.16 ERA with a 98-58 record, earning three All-Star nods and making five consecutive starts on Opening Day.

Kluber provides stability to a Yankees rotation that is topped by Gerrit Cole but gets messy afterward. Luis Severino is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, Jordan Montgomery had a 5.11 ERA in 2020, and Domingo German hasn't pitched since 2019 after a suspension caused him to miss the 2020 season.