NEW YORK – The New York Yankees made a pair of big moves on the free agent market, reaching a deal with right-hander Corey Kluber worth $11 million for one year and agreeing to a $90 million, six-year contract to keep AL batting champion DJ LeMahieu, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because each agreement is subject to a successful physical.
Kluber, the 2014 and 2017 AL Cy Young Award winner, won 56 games for Cleveland over the 2016-18 seasons, then missed the rest of the 2019 season after he was hit on the right forearm that May 1 by a comebacker off the bat of Miami’s Brian Anderson. He finished 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA in seven starts.
Traded after the season to Texas, Kluber tore a muscle in his right shoulder in his Rangers debut on July 26, finishing his season after one inning. The injury did not require surgery, and he held a workout for scouts on Wednesday.
Kluber, who turns 35 on April 10, is a three-time All-Star who is 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA in 10 seasons, the first nine with the Indians.
He joins a rotation headed by Gerrit Cole that also includes Deivi García, left-hander Jordan Montgomery and, at some point, Luis Severino when he returns from Tommy John surgery last Feb. 27. It is not clear whether the Yankees will re-sign Masahiro Tanaka, who became a free agent. In addition, Domingo Germán is expected back from a domestic violence suspension that caused him to miss last season.
LeMahieu, who turns 33 in July, became the first player to win undisputed batting titles in both leagues. He won his first AL batting title last year at .364, the highest average for an AL batting champion since Minnesota’s Joe Mauer hit .365 in 2009, after winning the NL championship with Colorado in 2016.
A three-time All-Star, LeMahieu signed a $24 million, two-year contract with the Yankees in January 2019. He had 10 homers and 27 RBIs in the shortened 2020 season after hitting .327 with 26 homers and 102 RBIs in his first season in New York.
LeMahieu started his big league career with the Chicago Cubs in 2011, then was traded to Colorado. He has a .305 average with 85 homers and 478 RBIs in 10 big league seasons, and he has won three Gold Gloves at second base.
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