The Atlanta Braves are likely to be involved in the trade market for top-level pitching. Braves rumors on pitching should definitely include Cleveland Indians pitchers.
The Atlanta Braves rumors have already indicated that the team is interested in a frontline starter this offseason, leading many to speculate on the cost of Madison Bumgarner, Jacob deGrom, or even Zack Greinke. Then Buster Olney had this tweet:
This immediately caught the attention of many Atlanta Braves fans because of the first two names mentioned.
Corey Kluber is one of those great baseball success stories. Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 4th round in 2007, Kluber was struggling when he was traded to the Indians system, but he had a good body and could handle innings, so he was up to AA.
The first two seasons in the Indians organization would not have indicated anything major coming, but he was working with the Indians pitching coaches and working through the process with them, in spite of being shelled at times. He first saw big progress from that in 2013.
That progress in 2013 led to an elite run ever since. He’s won two Cy Young Awards (2014 and 2017), and from 2014-2018, he ranks 3rd in strikeouts, 2nd in wins, 1st in complete games, 2nd in innings, 4th in ERA, 4th in WHIP, and 2nd in bWAR. He’s obviously been one of the elite pitchers in all of the league.
Kluber will be 33 very early in the 2019 season. He’s under contract for 2019 for $17 million with an option for 2020 for $17.5 million and for 2021 for $18 million. That is a very good contract.
Kluber is an elite pitcher for sure, but he’s not the only arm mentioned, and much of the attention on social media has glossed over that pitcher.