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Central Notes: Kluber, Greene, Cubs

Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber has earned $3.5MM of a possible $4MM in contract escalators, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (via Twitter). All that remains is an all-but-certain top-10 finish in this year’s Cy Young award voting to raise Kluber’s salary in 2019 from $13MM to the full $17MM. His contract options in 2020 and 2021 will increase to $17.5MM and $18MM respectively. Despite a disappointing loss to Justin Verlander and the Astros in the ALDS, Kluber put together another stellar campaign in 2018. He won twenty games for the first time, going 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA in 215 innings. Kluber’s run of dominance began in his age-28 season, and he’s been one of baseball’s true number-one starters in the five years since (2.84 FIP, 152 ERA+ over that time). He more than earned his pay raise, but it does make an already-tight financial situation even tighter for Cleveland this offseason as they try to fill holes in their lineup and rebuild their bullpen around July acquisition Brad Hand.

Some notes from the Senior Circuit’s central division…

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