Yankees' Corey Kluber: 'I Consider Myself to Be Healthy' After Shoulder Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2021

FILE - In this July 26, 2020, file photo, Texas Rangers starting pitcher Corey Kluber pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, declined the $18 million contract option on Kluber, who lasted just one inning in his only start before a shoulder injury ended his season. Kluber gets a $1 million buyout, and the club has said it is interested in re-signing Kluber to a less expensive deal. (AP Photo/Louis DeLuca, File)
Louis DeLuca/Associated Press

It wasn't that long ago Corey Kluber was one of the best pitchers in baseball before injuries derailed him, and New York Yankees fans will be relieved to hear he is back on course heading into the 2021 campaign. 

"I consider myself to be healthy at this point. I'm not rehabbing anything or tending to any issues with anything lingering or anything like that," the right-hander said Thursday, per the Associated Press. "I'm basically at a normal stage of my offseason right now."

Kluber joined the Yankees on a one-year, $11 million contract this offseason in hopes of rediscovering his form from his prime in Cleveland.

He was a two-time American League Cy Young winner and three-time All-Star who finished with an ERA of 3.49 or lower in five straight seasons from 2014 to 2018. He posted an ERA below 3.00 three times in that span and helped lead Cleveland to an appearance in the 2016 World Series.

However, he made just seven starts in 2019 before being hit by a comeback line drive during a May game against the Miami Marlins.

Kluber posted a 5.80 ERA in those seven starts and then pitched just one inning in 2020 because of a shoulder injury that did not require surgery.

He is not the only high-risk, high-reward acquisition for the Yankees rotation this offseason, as New York also brought in Jameson Taillon in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Taillon finished the 2018 season with a 3.20 ERA but missed much of the 2019 campaign and all of the 2020 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

If they can both return to form, the Yankees will be on the shortlist of realistic championship contenders.