The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with free-agent right-handed starter Corey Kluber on a one-year contract with a club option for 2024, according to ESPN. Kluber is expected to make $10 million guaranteed, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. He received $8 million last season and then $11 million the prior year. Both were one-year agreements.
Kluber, 37 years old come next April, is a former two-time Cy Young Award winner who has spent the last two seasons with other American League East teams, in the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. He’s started a combined 47 times the past two years, accumulating a 4.17 ERA (92 ERA+) and a 4.09 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 2022, he threw 164 innings, his most since 2018.
Kluber, of course, enjoyed a great deal of success earlier in his career as a member of the now-Cleveland Guardians. He won the Cy Young Award in both 2014 and 2017, and he received downballot consideration in 2015, 2016, and 2018. Along the way, he made three All-Star Games and won an ERA title. His effectiveness and availability have waned in recent years, however, as he missed almost all of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and tallied just 80 innings in 2021.
The starter will slot into a remade Red Sox rotation next spring. Boston has already lost Nathan Eovaldi and Rich Hill to free agency, and may also lose Michael Wacha over the coming weeks. Kluber, then, is projected to form a starting five along some combination of Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, James Paxton, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck .
Kluber joins a collection of incoming players that includes Masataka Yoshida, Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, and Chris Martin, while the Red Sox have lost the aforementioned starters, plus shortstop Xander Bogaerts and DH J.D. Martinez.