The Cleveland Guardians are still trying to improve their roster.
Reports during the winter have them with two major trade pieces.
Both of them are pitchers: starter Shane Bieber and reliever Emmanuel Clase.
At this point, it’s unlikely that Bieber leaves the team before the start of the season.
He just hasn’t generated the kind of interest that the Guardians would have wanted.
Clase, on the other hand, is a top closer who is young, cheap, and controllable.
He is the kind of player who could bring back an important package via trade.
Bleacher Report analyst Zach Rymer made a list with 10 likely landing spots for Clase, via B/R Walk-Off.
Here it is:
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) January 24, 2024
The Chicago Cubs are ranked first, and it makes sense.
They could really use a shutdown reliever, and they would be getting one with a 2.00 career ERA and a 100-mph cutter.
It’s hard to top that.
And, most importantly, the Cubs have arguably the strongest farm system in baseball.
They would be able to offer the Guardians a king’s ransom for Clase if they wanted.
To get him, they probably would have to do that.
Second on the list are the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it’s also a plausible destination for Clase.
They aren’t afraid to wheel and deal, and their bullpen could benefit greatly from a guy like him.
The New York Yankees are third, but from here on out, these destinations are less likely than the top two.
There is still some time left in the offseason.
Will the Guardians make a deal involving their top reliever?