Boston Red Sox Decline Club Option on Banged Up Former Cy Young Winner Corey Kluber

Boston Red Sox Decline Club Option on Banged Up Former Cy Young Winner Corey Kluber

Corey Kluber will return to free agency after the Boston Red Sox passed up on paying the veteran pitcher $11 million for the upcoming 2024 season.

The Boston Red Sox have declined their $11 million club option on starting pitcher Corey Kluber for the 2024 season, the team announced Friday evening. Boston also confirmed reports that designated hitter Justin Turner had declined his $13.4 million player option.

Kluber and Turner will now enter free agency, which officially began Thursday. Free agents can’t sign with new teams until Monday, however.

The Red Sox signed Kluber to a one-year, $10 million contract last offseason, taking a flier on a 37-year-old veteran with a history of success on the rubber.

That gamble did not pay off, as Kluber finished the year 3-6 with a 7.04 ERA and 1.636 WHIP. The Red Sox’s Opening Day starter was ultimately pushed into the bullpen by June. He suffered a shoulder injury and made a few spot starts in the minors as part of several rehab assignments, but he never pitched in Boston after June 20.

Kluber was one of the best pitchers in baseball from 2014 to 2018, winning two Cy Young Awards with the Cleveland Indians on top of two third-place finishes and a ninth-place finish. He went 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.086 WHIP, 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings and a 32.5 WAR across nine seasons with Cleveland.

Injuries cost Kluber almost all of 2019 and 2020, spoiling his lone season with the Texas Rangers, as well as half of his 2021 campaign with the New York Yankees. Kluber still managed to go 15-13 with a 4.17 ERA with the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in 2021 and 2022.

Boston could not get anywhere near that kind of production out of Kluber in 2023, and he will now hit the open market for the fourth winter in a row.

 

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