Of course, the Rangers also didn’t expect the former AL Cy Young Award winner (albeit with an injury history) to pitch just one inning in Arlington.
Instead, they were hoping Kluber would insert himself into a veteran rotation that had Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles already in it.
As we know, though, even the best laid plans can go awry, and they certainly did for the Texas Rangers in 2020, pandemic aside.
If you remember, Texas dealt fan-favorite OF and speedster Delino DeShields and hard-throwing righty reliever Emmanuel Clase in the trade to acquire Kluber’s services.
Want to get your blood boiling about that whiff of a trade? Check this out.
Emmanuel Clase is making the Texas Rangers regret ever trading him in the first place.
You’re seeing it all right, that’s Emmanuel Clase in a Cleveland Indians uniform throwing absolute gas and filthy breaking pitches to Diamondbacks hitters in an exhibition tune-up on the eve of the regular season.
That same Emmanuel Clase that was once doing the same thing for the Texas Rangers.
It’s just plain insulting, especially when you consider how much of a wash the whole deal looks in hindsight.
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Kluber has since moved on to the Yankees, and while DeShields did attend Texas Rangers spring training in Surprise this year, he didn’t make the team.
Could you imagine if the Rangers still had Clase, though?
The Rangers are dealing with a plethora of injuries to their bullpen, with high-leverage relievers Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez out, and others like Brett Martin, Joely Rodriguez and Demarcus Evans on the way back.
Had Clase factored into the late-inning mix, though, just ponder at having his electric stuff in big spots late in games during the regular season.
Alas, he’ll be doing that for the Indians now instead of the Rangers.
It’s not as though Texas has no alternatives for their injury woes, with Matt Bush and Ian Kennedy being more than adequate in their new roles, but you’d still love to have Clase and his talent, undeniably.
Clase was suspended for PED’s in 2020, but looks healthy in 2021 and ready to pay dividends on the Indians’ side of the Corey Kluber trade.