In December 2019, the Cleveland Guardians acquired Emmanuel Clase via a trade with the Texas Rangers.
It was, back then, the Corey Kluber trade.
We are sure Rangers fans know the transaction as the Emmanuel Clase trade at this point, though.
The trade itself proved to be a success for Cleveland: Kluber was aging, and Clase was a talented reliever.
However, few people thought he would become this dominant, with a career 2.00 ERA in parts of four seasons.
Fortunately, some of those people are in the Guardians’ front office.
Then, in 2022, they extended him to an extremely team-friendly five-year, $20 million deal with additional options for two more campaigns (2027 and 2028), worth $10 million each.
It’s the best thing they could have done.
Now, Clase is a coveted player in the trade market.
“Sources: Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase is drawing trade interest from multiple teams, but a deal appears unlikely in the near term. With club options, Cleveland has control of Clase through 2028. There is no motivation for the Guardians to move him now,” MLB insider Jon Morosi tweeted.
Sources: Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase is drawing trade interest from multiple teams, but a deal appears unlikely in the near term.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 6, 2024
As Morosi states, though, Cleveland has all the leverage.
All of it.
They have absolutely no reason to trade Clase, who has accumulated 86 saves in the last two seasons alone.
If Cleveland exercises all the options, he would be under cheap control for five more years.
It would take a massive trade package of MLB-ready players and prospects to get Cleveland to consider moving Clase.
It’s their right to hold on to the player: they invested time, resources, and money in him and he seems to be happy in Cleveland.
Unless there is a huge offer, he will probably stay put.