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MLB’s Best Closer In the AL Reportedly Available on Trade Market

The Cleveland Guardians appear to be open for business. Sure, there is only a little bullpen depth to go after on the free agent market besides Josh Hader. However, another reliever of Hader’s caliber could be available through the trade market. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, there are reports that the Guardians are open to trading Emmanuel Clase.

Emmanuel Clase Trade Rumors

The 25-year-old right-hander has five years left on a $20 million contract through 2026. It includes $10 million in team options for 2027 and 2028. However, 2023 was a down year for Clase, who blew 12 saves and saw his strikeout rate decrease from 28.4% to 21.2%. He still led the majors in saves for the second straight season. His reasonable contract, age and value make him an attractive option. Teams in dire need of some late-inning relief help will certainly give Cleveland a call and want to avoid coughing up money for Hader.

Emmanuel Clase MLB Profile

Cleveland acquired Clase, along with Delino DeShields Jr., from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Corey Kluber. Clase spent the 2020 season on MLB’s restricted list following an 80-game suspension. After he was reinstated in 2021, Clase appeared in 71 games while he struck out 74 batters with 24 saves in 29 opportunities. He will earn $2.5 million in 2024, $4.5 million in 2025 and $6 million in 2026. He is attainable thanks to his performance incentives based on appearances, innings and awards. That could increase the value of his final two option years to $13 million.

Cleveland’s History of Moving Pitchers

The Guardians are known to move on from one pitching talent they developed to the next. Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger traded in multi-player deals before they hit the open market. If that continues for Cleveland, expect ace Shane Bieber to be on the move before Opening Day rather than a reliever like Clase.

Photo Credit: © David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


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