The Cleveland Guardians are known for identifying and nurturing pitching talent.
They have a knack for developing pitchers, starters and relievers, who can contribute to a championship-caliber team.
One of those star pitchers on their current roster, Emmanuel Clase, could potentially be used as trade bait to lure a much-needed offensive player in the offseason.
The idea itself seems a bit odd: relievers with a 2.00 ERA in 238.1 career innings do not grow on trees.
To make him even more valuable, Clase signed a five-year, $20 million deal a couple of years ago with two club options.
It means he is affordable and elite.
That should fetch at least a star-level prospect or a young, controllable hitter.
Analyst and former MLB executive Jim Duquette speculates that the Philadelphia Phillies could be a potential landing spot for Clase.
“With Emmanuel Clase reportedly available, @JimDuquetteGM sees the #Phillies as a potential landing spot. Plus, a 101 mph cutter could probably #RingTheBell,” MLB Network Radio tweeted in reference to the team’s motto.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) December 1, 2023
Duquette, who was the New York Mets general manager in 2004 and also held important baseball operations positions with the Baltimore Orioles, believes the Phillies could use another dominant late-inning weapon.
Philadelphia has been on the verge of winning the World Series in 2022 and 2023, and Clase could be what their bullpen needs.
He would take over as closer in the City of Brotherly Love.
They would need to offer the Guardians a very enticing package to get their attention, though.
Cleveland is not going to just give him away.