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Saturday, November 3, 2018

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE ISSUES: INDIANS LISTENING ON COREY KLUBER IS TELLING

Publicly, the Cleveland Indians and their front office personnel will tell you that reports they are interested in dealing away two-time Cy Young ace pitcher Corey Kluber has more to do with the $17 million price tag in 2019 and not as much on numbers.  While the money issue is certainly a big one, we are not totally buying this explanation as Kluber is carrying around some red flags with his advanced numbers that could hint at trouble ahead.  We already got done on our Kluber concerns in our 2019 fantasy baseball draft guide due out later this month and we are going to tell you now that drafting him this season may not go swimmingly.  One reason for such concern is the fact Kluber has now logged five straight seasons of 200-plus innings which is a very heavy workload for a pitcher and especially one who is now turning 33 in April.  Driving this worry home is the fact that Kluber's average fastball velocity has declined every single season since that run began; going from 94.6 in 2014 down to just 92.4 a year ago.  The two items are certainly related and so anyone looking to use a second or third-round pick on Kluber this spring should tread carefully.  We saw some injuries pop up last season as well for Kluber which again goes with the age and innings totals and so it makes total sense the Indians are looking to jump ship.  We will go more into this as the winter unfolds but already start putting Kluber down a few spots on your 2019 cheat sheets.  


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