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Corey Kluber retires: Why two-time Cy Young winner decided to end MLB career

The Klubot is powering down.

Corey Kluber announced his retirement from MLB after 13 years in the game. He leaves the sport as a three-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young winner, who in three seasons led the majors in complete games and shutouts. Kluber also hurled a no-hitter May 19, 2021.

In a statement on Instagram, Kluber thanked the five teams for which he played, the MLB Players Association, his agents, trainers, staff, teammates and his family for his career.

“With sincere appreciation, I am announcing my retirement from Major League Baseball, concluding a remarkable 13-season Major League Baseball journey,” Kluber wrote. “I am deeply grateful for the support of numerous individuals and entities that profoundly influenced my path.”

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Why Corey Kluber is retiring

Kluber has had a standout career, highlighted by one of the most dominant five-year stretches by any pitcher. But Kluber also pitched into his age-37 season, and would have turned 38 shortly into the 2024 campaign.

Though Kluber is retiring, he is leaving the door open to continuing to find another way to stay involved in baseball.

“As I take my leave from the pitcher’s mound, my passion for baseball remains unwavering,” Kluber wrote. “I eagerly anticipate exploring other opportunities to continue contributing to the sport in a different capacity. To all who have been involved with my baseball odyssey, thank you for crafting an indelible and unforgettable ride. For all of those that will be part of my next chapter in baseball, I look forward to passing on what I have learned to the next generation of MLB players.”

In 15 games, nine starts, for the Red Sox in 2023, he had a 7.04 ERA with 42 strikeouts across 55 innings of work. It was clear after a resurgent 2021 with the Yankees and a solid 2022 with the Rays that his career was heading on the decline.

That’s not to take anything away from Kluber, who was, for an extended time, one of baseball’s most dominant arms. From 2014 to 2018, all with Cleveland, he accumulated 32 bWAR (Baseball Reference Wins Above Replacement), trailing only Max Scherzer who amassed 34 bWAR, according to Stathead.

Nicknamed “Klubot” for his straight-faced delivery and robotic precision with which he got batters out, Kluber won Cy Youngs in both 2014, when he led the majors with 18 wins and had a 2.44 ERA in 235.2 innings with 269 strikeouts, and in 2017, when he led the majors with 18 wins, a 2.25 ERA, five complete games and three shutouts while also striking out 265 batters across only 203.2 innings of work. He was named an All-Star in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting each season from 2014 to 2018, including finishing in the top-3 from 2016-18.

In 2018, Kluber pitched to a 2.89 ERA and led the majors with 215 innings, two complete games and a shutout. He struggled in 2019 before an arm fracture ended his season. Cleveland picked up his option for 2020, but traded him in the offseason to the Rangers for Delino DeShields Jr. and future closer Emmanuel Clase. Kluber suffered a torn teres major muscle one start into his Texas career and did not pitch for them again.

Kluber enjoyed a bounceback campaign in 2021 with the Yankees, pitching a no-hitter on May 19, 2021, and finishing the season with a 3.83 ERA in 80 innings spanning 16 starts. He continued that success in his age-36 campaign with the Rays, when he made 31 starts and posted a 4.34 ERA in 164 innings with Tampa Bay.

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