Free trader Corey Kluber held a showcase for interested teams today, and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that soothes Anthony Swarzak and Steve Cishek both also threw for teams. (All three are Jet Sports Management clients, so it’s natural that they host the training together.) As many as 25 teams were in attendance, ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweets.
Passan notes that Kluber’s speed peaked at 90 km / h, although given where he is in the rehabilitation process from last year’s injuries, did not expect that he would be up to peak speed yet. Eric Cressey, whose strength and conditioning facility hosted the showcase, told ESPN̵
The full list of participating teams is not known, though given that this was an open look at a two-time Cy Young winner and a couple of relievers with significant MLB experience with late sen, it would be more remarkable to learn, which few teams not was present than to know which clubs there were. Still, it is at least worth noting that each of the Mets, Yankees, Nationals, Red Sox, Rays, Twins, Cubs, Rangers, Marlins, Tigers, Pirates, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, and Indians were all reported to participate in the showcase. It’s obviously not an all – inclusive list.
Generally speaking, if Kluber really is at some point in his rehabilitation creating confidence, one could imagine that the market for him would be robust. The extent to which clubs are willing to bet on a guaranteed contract on the two-time Cy Young winner will vary, but he should easily steer a big league deal with plenty of incentives on top of the base that the highest bidder will commit.
Clubs can be something of a lottery at this point, but few games come with that pronounced upward. From 2014-18, the right-hander was one of the game’s leading pitchers, working for a total of 2.85 ERA, while knocking out 28.5 percent of the hitters he faced with just a 5.2 percent gang rate. Only three of the 179 qualified starting pitchers in that period – Chris Sale, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer – Clubs topped 23.3 K-BB%.
Since that time, however, he has been limited to 36 2/3 innings of a broken forearm (persistent when hit by a line drive), a sloping trunk and a teres major load. Traded from Cleveland to Texas last winter, Clubs only threw an inning for the Rangers in 2020.
While most of the focus understandably is on Clubs, the presence of Swarzak and Cishek is certainly remarkable as well. Both right flutes are looking for their own rebounds. Swarzak signed with the Phillies last winter but was released at the end of summer camp and did not sign another club. A two-year $ 14MM deal he signed with the Mets ahead of the 2018 season proved unfortunate as shoulder problems torpedoed both of those seasons. However, back in 2017, Swarzak threw 77 1/3 frames with a 2.33 ERA with 91 strokes against just 22 walks.
Meanwhile, Cishek rattled four straight seasons with an under-3.00 ERA from 2016-19, leading to a $ 6MM deal with the White Sox last winter. However, he did not stay on Chicago’s South Side as he was roughed up to a 5.40 ERA of just 20 innings. Cishek’s control has been in the wrong direction the last couple of seasons, but he missed bats at his typical levels and did not see a speed drop in 2020.