Cy Young winner and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Corey Kluber announced his retirement on Feb. 9. Kluber's final season in the league wasn't the most memorable, but his legacy as one of the top pitchers of his era can't be denied.
The hurler posted an emotional announcement on Instagram to make his retirement from baseball public. Kluber thanked each team he played for and stated that he hopes to continue his career elsewhere in baseball.
Kluber played for 13 seasons and spent most of his career in Cleveland, where he won two American League Cy Young awards in 2014 and 2017. The latter year was the highlight of his career — Kluber led MLB with 18 wins, a 2.25 ERA, a 7.35 strikeout-to-walk rate, and pitched a staggering five complete games, three of them shutouts.
After leaving Cleveland in 2020, Kluber played for a different team each year. He went from the Rangers, to the Yankees, to the Rays, and finally, the Red Sox, where he pitched for the final time in his illustrious career.
Former Red Sox pitcher Corey Kluber announces his retirement
Boston announces plans to honor Tim Wakefield
Speaking of well-known pitchers, the Red Sox will honor team icon Tim Wakefield in multiple ways this coming season after he passed away from complications due to brain cancer on Oct. 1, 2023.
In 2013, the knuckleballer was named honorary chairman of the Red Sox Foundation and Boston will honor Wakefield with a Red Sox Foundation game on April 12. Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Red Sox Foundation. Fans also have the opportunity to buy a special ticket to receive a Wakefield No. 49 hat.
Wakefield is regarded as a fearsome knuckleball pitcher and one of the heroes of the 2007 World Series campaign, but he was also known to be charitable. Wakefield was an eight-time Roberto Clemente award nominee for the Red Sox and was involved with multiple charitable organizations.
The Athletic ranks Red Sox farm system top 10 in MLB
Keith Law of The Athletic ranks the Red Sox farm system as the eighth-best in the league. Boston shot up 15 spots from last season, where Law ranked the Sox's prospect pool at 23rd in MLB.
Law cited Boston's 2023 draft and some of it's highly regarded prospects as the reason for its rank. Prospect catcher Kyle Teel was a great snag for the Sox as the 14th overall pick — many experts believe Teel should've been drafted earlier.
Despite mentioning Marcelo Mayer's trouble with injuries, Law still praised his performance last season along with the development of Roman Anthony as the main reasons for the Red Sox's rise through the ranks.
But the issues with the farm were well documented. The Red Sox's farm lacks pitching, which has been the team's biggest for years. According to Zack Scott, former Red Sox front office executive, Boston's pitching prospects rank 29th in the league. That's next-to-last for a team desperate for quality pitching.
Overall, though, Red Sox fans have a lot to be excited about when it comes to up-and-coming talent, and some of the organization's top prospects could reach the big leagues late in the season with the proper work.