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Giants among teams to check in on Cy Young winner’s showcase



Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Among the candidates the Giants are exploring for rotation depth is a two-time former Cy Young winner.

The Giants were on hand to witness Corey Kluber throw a 30-pitch showcase in Florida on Wednesday, a source said, one of a couple dozen teams to evaluate what the 34-year-old has left.

Kluber’s fastball, which is expected to improve with more work, reportedly sat 88-91 mph, and he threw all his offspeed pitches. Other teams reported to have checked in on the intriguing righty include the Diamondbacks, Mets, Cubs and Yankees.

Kluber won the Cy Young in 2017 and 2014 with Cleveland and was dominant as recently as 2018, when he went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA. His 2019 season was ruined by a comebacker that broke his right forearm on May 1, which became the last time he was on the mound with the Indians.

In December 2019 he was dealt to the Rangers, with whom he pitched one inning and then exited with what would be diagnosed as a small tear in his shoulder muscle.

The biggest takeaway from Kluber’s showcase was that he reportedly looked healthy. The market for a pitcher who has totaled 36 2/3 innings in two seasons but who has an impressive resume that includes three All-Star Games is unclear. The Giants, who have a need, could be a part of that market.

Their rotation is fronted by Kevin Gausman, Johnny Cueto and Anthony DeSclafani, with Logan Webb and Tyler Beede (coming off Tommy John surgery and hoping to return in May) expected to fight for spots.

The Giants are seeking another reliable arm and were linked to Tomoyuki Sugano before he decided to return to Japan. Farhan Zaidi has spoken about the best pitcher available superseding staff diversity, yet all of their current options are righties. GM Scott Harris said Tuesday on SiriusXM that a lefty could be added in the next few weeks.

The top southpaws on the market include James Paxton, Jon Lester and Carlos Rodón.

It’s possible the Giants go with an all-right rotation, and Kluber is certainly among the most intriguing righties — especially for a team that prides itself on maximizing talent and has succeeded with bounce-backs from players such as Gausman and Drew Smyly.