New Rangers pitcher Corey Kluber.

For six seasons, from 2013 to 2018, Corey Kluber was one of the elite pitchers in baseball. 

He led the American League in wins in 2014, and won the Cy Young award (for Rangers fans, that an award they give to the best pitcher in each league.)

He led all of baseball in 2015 with four complete games (for Rangers fans that’s when a pitcher who starts a game finishes it). 

He was an All-Star in 2016, leading the league in shutouts. 

He won his second Cy Young award in 2017, leading all of baseball in wins, ERA, complete games, shutouts, and WHIP.

He finished third in Cy Young voting in 2018, winning 20 games, leading the league in complete games, shutouts, and innings pitched. 

That is the guy the Rangers hope they traded a fourth outfielder and a relief pitching prospect for. DeShields had a tenuous hold on a roster spot anyway, and his only significant talent is his speed, but he mostly shows that by being faster than anyone at running from home to the dugout after striking out. Clase is a young flame-throwing relief pitcher with a ton of upside and who struck out 21 batters in 23 innings.

If that’s the Kluber the Rangers get in 2020, this is one of the biggest steals in the history of baseball. In fact, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, this deal was so one-sided, one rival executive said, “with some bafflement, ‘There has to be more.’”

If the Rangers get the Kluber who fell to Earth in 2019, putting up a 5.80 ERA in seven miserable starts before two injuries wiped out the rest of his season, this is a great deal because it forces them to upgrade in center.

If Kluber never pitches another game the rest of his life, this is push. Because what this trade did was knock the entire baseball universe off kilter. 

They got him for what

Nice job.