|Emmanuel Clase (Instagram/@emmanuelclase31)
PROFIL BOLA - The Cleveland Guardians are famous (infamous?) for trading away players just before they get to be too expensive. In the case of closer Emmanuel Clase, however, despite five years of team control left at a reasonable cost, the Guards have made the surprising move to take offers on him.
ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan says Cleveland is open to trading their closer, one of the best in the business, in what would be a very surprising turn of events.
Yes, Clase became just the fourth closer in baseball history to record back-to-back 40-save seasons before turning 26. Yes, he led the American League in saves for the 2nd straight year with 44 of them.
But he wasn't as dominant in 2023 as he has been the previous seasons. Perhaps the Guardians are looking at the fact that he blew 12 save opportunities, his strikeouts were way down, and his hits allowed and ERA were way up.
One team that's already been mentioned as a likely landing spot is the Philadelphia Phillies.
He's got enough credit in the bank, as well as the eminently affordable nature of his contract, that the Guardians could bring back a big haul for Clase. Cleveland already has a built-in replacement in their bullpen, former KC Royals closer Scott Barlow, whom they acquired this year. ***