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Report: Rangers close to acquiring Indians ace Corey Kluber

Corey Kluber

The Texas Rangers are in the final stages of a deal that would send two-time American League Cy Young winner Corey Kluber from the Cleveland Indians to Arlington.

A deal is close, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan:

Rosenthal also noted that — should a trade be completed — Kluber’s club option for the 2021 season would be converted to an $18 million vesting option that becomes guaranteed if he hits certain quotas:

Kluber made just seven starts in 2019 due to a forearm issue that was followed by an oblique strain. He has been a popular trade candidate in Cleveland for the last few years as the team looks for new ways to slash payroll and make room for a potential Francisco Lindor extension.

The Rangers went into the 2019 Winter Meetings looking like a club that would spend big, but they came away empty after watching third baseman Anthony Rendon sign with the Los Angeles Angels.

Despite the injuries this past season, there is no questioning Kluber’s status as one of the elite pitchers of this generation. The 33-year-old ranked third in fWAR — behind just Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw — among all pitchers between 2014 and 2018.

Texas is building a foundation in its rotation behind Lance Lynn and Mike Minor, both of whom had breakout performances last season. They are still looking for a regular third baseman after missing on Rendon and reportedly ending talks with Josh Donaldson.

Considering that the Rangers are moving into a new stadium in 2020 and looking to put a solid product on the field, it appears they will continue to stay aggressive for the remainder of the offseason.