Monday, December 16, 2019

On MadBum and the Klubot

Word broke Sunday that Madison Bumgarner had reached agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Snakes didn't give him the $100 million total that was supposedly his ask, but they did go five years, and the Twins reportedly wouldn't do that.

I am neither surprised nor disappointed. Not surprised because the Twins were almost certainly not high on Bumgarner's wishlist, not if, as Jon Heyman tweeted last week, location and league were obstacles. The lefty stays in the NL, where he can hit, and he gets to be in the Phoenix area, where he apparently owns property and horses. Not disappointed because, while he would certainly be welcome in the Minnesota rotation, he is clearly not the pitcher he was about five years ago. His arrows are pointing down.

Speaking of pitchers whose arrows are pointing down: Cleveland traded Corey Kluber to Texas on Sunday in what appears to be a salary dump. Kluber didn't pitch well last season before a suffering a broken arm on a line drive, and he never made it back with the Tribe.

The return -- a part-time outfielder and a minor league reliever -- seems pretty light for a two-time Cy Young winner, even one on the wrong side of 30. Presumably the Rangers are taking on all of Kluber's contract. And, also presumably, nobody -- at least nobody to whom Cleveland was willing to trade Kluber -- was willing to top that offer.

The Cleveland operation has been pretty good in recent years at turning out quality young pitchers, and I suspect that Delino Deshields Jr. will be an outfield upgrade for them even if he couldn't attain regular status in north Texas. But not having the Klubot at the head of their rotation feels like a big loss, even if it can be rationalized.

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