MLB Rumors: 3 Emmanuel Clase trade packages that Guardians couldn’t turn down

The Cleveland Guardians aren't shopping Emmanuel Clase, but if these offers came their way, they might not be able to turn them down.

Aug 22, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Emmanuel Clase (48) throws a
Aug 22, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Emmanuel Clase (48) throws a / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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1. The Cubs make Emmanuel Clase their big offseason splash

Emmanuel Clase Cubs

The Chicago Cubs entered the offseason with high expectations, especially after landing Craig Counsell, but have done largely nothing. The signings of Hector Neris and Shota Imanaga were solid, but they're not what'll get Chicago close to teams like the Braves and Dodgers in the National League. The same can be said for the Michael Busch trade. Good, not extraordinary. Landing Clase would be extraordinary.

With the addition of Neris the Cubs have the makings of a pretty strong bullpen with guys like Adbert Alzolay and Julian Merryweather complimenting him, but Clase would give them a bonafide lockdown closer comparable to guys like Devin Williams and Ryan Helsley from the NL Central.

The Cubs would center this deal around Christopher Morel, a player Cleveland could use more than Chicago. The Guardians lack power, and Morel has tons of it. The Cubs can then go out and replace Morel by signing a big bat like J.D. Martinez or Cody Bellinger to offset the loss.

Five years of Morel, a player who just hit 26 home runs this past season, would be quite the get. Sure, there are questions about his defense, but just stick him in the middle of the lineup and watch him hit dingers. Hitting Morel behind players like Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor would be something for American League teams to fear.

Alongside Morel, the Guardians would be getting pitching prospect Ben Brown. His stock dipped a bit following a down year in 2023, but he's close to MLB-ready and can be a guy the Guardians lean on for the next half-decade or longer. This would be the Guardians betting on themselves and their ability to develop pitching from within.

The Cubs would get their closer for the next five years at a very cheap cost, while the Guardians add a contributor for the middle of their lineup and their rotation for now, and the future.