The Texas Rangers have acquired two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber from the Cleveland Indians.

In a blockbuster MLB deal on Sunday, the Rangers traded for star pitcher Kluber in exchange for outfielder Delino DeShields and pitching prospect Emmanuel Clase.

An American League (AL) Cy Young winner in 2014 and 2017, three-time All-Star Kluber arrives in Texas after missing most of last season with a fractured ulna bone in his right arm.

"Before last year, Corey was one of the elite pitchers in the game for an extended stretch," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said of the 33-year-old.

"Last year was a little bit of a lost year for him but we think the reasons for it don't necessarily give us pause. In some ways the time off may have been a good thing, a blessing in disguise that he had thrown a lot of innings [418] in the previous two years."

Kluber went 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA and 1,461 strikeouts during his nine seasons with the Indians, who missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Indians president Chris Antonetti added: "These are exceedingly difficult deals to make, but they're important deals for us.

"If you think back to the way in which we acquired Corey was we traded an established, popular, veteran starting pitcher in Jake Westbrook for, at the time, an unheralded pitcher in Double-A with the San Diego Padres.

"If you look at our teams over the course of the last seven seasons and the success we've had has been, in a large degree, attributed to guys who we've acquired in similar-type trades. So, they're painful trades to make oftentimes, but they're trades that make sense and help us be a better team moving forward."

It is the dog days of summer in the United States which means two things — MLB teams are just trying to get to the playoffs healthy and unnecessary drama is being drummed up in the NFL.

This is the kind of week where there is serious news coming out but said news is hard to take seriously.

Do not know what we mean? Read what is going on this week in US Sports.

 

1. Astros injuries piling up

The Houston Astros have the best team in baseball on paper. They also are competing for the best team in MLB on the injured list. As of right now the New York Yankees undoubtedly hold that title with Luke Voit, Edwin Encarnacion, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances all on the shelf, but Houston are doing their best to catch up.

Houston lost Carlos Correa (back), Aaron Sanchez (pectoral) and Ryan Pressly (knee) to the injured list this week. That is while they were also without Gerrit Cole for a start after he sustained a hamstring injury before his scheduled appearance against the Chicago White Sox last week.

Fortunately for the Astros, Cole starts against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. Unfortunately, Houston are once again dealing with injury woes for 2012 number one pick Correa. The 24-year-old has now spent significant time on the injured list with thumb, back and rib issues over each of the last three years and his back injury completely derailed his 2018 season and is now threatening to do the same in 2019.

This is a concern for Houston not just this year, but in regard to the shortstop's long-term future.

 

2. Elliott, Jones getting in their feelings

Should Ezekiel Elliott be holding out right now? The answer is almost certainly yes. After leading the league in rushing two of his first three years in the NFL while accumulating more attempts than any other back in that span, the Dallas Cowboys picked up his fifth-year option in a means of avoiding paying him in the short term while racking up wear and tear for the long term.

With a running back's average NFL career being about two and a half years, yeah Elliott should want to get paid and he deserves it. But should he be getting offended when Jerry Jones jokes about him? Probably not. But he and his camp were apparently very ticked off when hearing Jones joke about Elliott after Saturday's game, referring to the back as "Zeke who?"

Now, Jones has always had Elliott's back. He fought tooth and nail to help Elliott avoid a suspension for an alleged domestic violence incident two years ago. He loves Elliott. However, he probably could have proved that better than how he reacted to hearing Elliott was annoyed at the joke he made.

"I've earned the right to joke with Zeke," Jones said in a news conference on Tuesday. "Let me be real clear about that. I've earned the right to joke with Zeke."

Has he earned the right? Probably. Should he have shown his outrage in news conference to a reporter asking a legitimate question? Probably not.

 

3. Brown loves the limelight

For anyone watching Hard Knocks with the Oakland Raiders this year, it is easy to see what is going on. Antonio Brown loves attention and he is getting it. From a hot air balloon flight, to frostbitten feet, an obsession with Gatorade and multiple helmet issues, the cameras are constantly trained on Brown and will be until the show ends.

And while all of this is happening, we are getting a great glimpse into the constant drama around Brown. The wide receiver's helmet saga which featured him reportedly threatening to quit if he were not allowed to use his old helmet to general manager Mike Mayock telling reporters Brown is either in or out has been complete stupidity.

Brown is not going to quit over a helmet, but everyone is going to report on it for a couple of reason — one it is Brown, so it is news. And two, people love to watch car accidents, it is why traffic backs up every time a motorist is stuck on the side of the road after a collision.

This is sports in the US during August. Nothing is going on so more is made out of things than should be and Brown has been the absolute beneficiary.

 

4. Corey Kluber suffers a setback

The Cleveland Indians' trade of Trevor Bauer to the Cincinnati Reds at the deadline was made a lot more comfortable with the assumption that the former would be getting ace Corey Kluber back from a broken arm by the end of the season.

Well, that plan has hit a snag as Kluber suffered an oblique injury and has been shut down for two more weeks. While that does not sound so bad, let us tell you this, it is not just a two-week injury.

While he may be shut down for two weeks that just means he cannot throw in that time. So, when he does return, he has to ramp up his throwing again, face live hitters again and get his rhythm back on a mound hopefully in time for the postseason in October.

Kluber may be ready by then but there is a solid chance he could not be.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber will not be back on the mound any time soon.

The 33-year-old right-hander has been diagnosed with an internal oblique strain and will be shut down from throwing, the team announced on Tuesday.

Kluber will be re-evaluated in two weeks and his time frame to "return to game activity is to be determined".

Kluber suffered the injury during a rehab start with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers last weekend and left the game after just one inning. He was reportedly scheduled to throw 75-80 pitches in the matchup but instead threw just 20, walking a pair of batters without giving up a hit or a run.

He has not appeared in an MLB game for Cleveland since he was hit by a line drive and broke his arm against the Miami Marlins on May 1. 

Kluber, a two-time Cy Young winner, holds a 2-3 record and a 5.80 ERA in seven starts this season. 

The Indians entered play on Tuesday leading the American League (AL) wildcard race with a 74-51 record. They trail the Minnesota Twins by two games in the AL Central.

Cleveland moved Trevor Bauer – who was sent to the Cincinnati Reds – at the trade deadline in a three-team deal and received a package centred around Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes in return.

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