MLB Rumors: Phillies connected to Emmanuel Clase trade with possible package
Since the Philadelphia Phillies started off free agency by re-signing ace Aaron Nola and potentially preventing the star righty from joining a rival or another contender, it's been a relatively quite offseason in the City of Brotherly Love as the organization remains focused on winning another World Series.
That doesn't mean that a big trade still couldn't be in order to address one of the team's biggest weaknesses: the closer role.
Brandon Scott of Bleacher Report recently imagined trade packages and fits for some of the biggest names reportedly still available. One such player was Cleveland Guardians closer and All-Star Emmanuel Clase. As such, Scott put together the following trade package that would send Clase to one of the best possible destinations for team and player, the Phillies.
Here's what Scott had to say about why the Phillies would pursue such a trade, adding that Rojas is the linchpin in this as it may limit Philadelphia's ceiling in centerfield long term, but could still make it work with a substantial upgrade in the bullpen:
"Philly should be in the Clase sweepstakes for obvious reasons. Things did not go great at the back end of games with the since-departed Craig Kimbrel, and there is no clear replacement in sight.
"That is where Clase, considered one of the game's elite closers, comes into play. While he had a bit of a down season in 2023, he was a top reliever in the two years prior."
Though most people around the Phillies indeed expect Rojas, should he remain in the organization, to develop into the everyday starter in centerfield. But as Scott mentioned later in his breakdown, upgrading from the situation they had with Kimbrel last year and potentially doing so for several years if they could tie down an extension might be more valuable, especially with decent-enough options like Brandon Marsh in the fold.