Now that the Yankees’ 2021 season is behind us, it’s time to bring back our Season Review series. Over the next few months, we’ll drop one or two of these pieces each week. These posts will look back on the given player’s season and offer a few takeaways from their performance. This year’s series starts today with Corey Kluber.
The Yankees signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to a one-year contract for the 2021 season with the hope that he’d rediscover some semblance of his former self. The righty was hurt for most of 2019 and 2020, but rehabbed with Yankees’ employee Eric Cressey, who undoubtedly gave the organization a vote of confidence in Kluber. In the end, there were some flashes of brilliance, but as a whole, the gamble did not work out as hoped.
It was easy to dream on Kluber reverting to his old self, which would have created perhaps the best one-two punch in the majors alongside Gerrit Cole. That dream started to look like a reality, particularly when he tossed a no-hitter against the Rangers. It was simply too good to be true, though. Kluber suffered a shoulder injury not long after and didn’t resurface again until the very end of the season.
No Kluber for a few months didn’t wind up being a big problem for this year’s team, at least. The pitching staff was great. Rather, the offense was the real downfall. Still, it’s hard not to wonder how things could have been different if the Yankees turned to someone other than Kluber in the offseason to bolster the rotation.