Red Sox Name 2-Time Cy Young Winner As Opening Day Starter

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora has named his Opening Day starter, and it's a pitcher who wasn't even with the team three months ago. But it is a two-time Cy Young winner. 

Corey Kluber gets the sixth Opening Day start of his career, kicking things off for Boston on March 30th against the Baltimore Orioles. The start comes just 11 days before his 37th birthday. 

The Red Sox signed Kluber at the end of December to a one-year, $10M contract for this season. It's the third different AL East team that Kluber has been with over the past three seasons. He signed a free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2022 and the New York Yankees in 2021. 

Kluber isn't the Cy Young pitcher that he was in his earlier days with the Cleveland Guardians (2014, 2017), but he can still get the job done reasonably well. He fared well in 16 starts with the Yanks in '21, posting a 3.83 ERA, with an ERA+ of 112, which is 12% better than the average major league pitcher. That slipped a bit last season in Tampa, however, as he pitched to a 4.34 ERA, and an 84 ERA+, 16% worse than league average. 

The veteran Kluber gets the nod over presumed "ace" of the staff, oft-injured Chris Sale. Cora said he just wants Sale to relax and enjoy Opening Day without the stress of pitching. 

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports