Emmanuel Clase, CP, Cleveland Indians
Having a strong closer is a key aspect of any team. Having a closer that consistently clocks in at 100+ miles per hour is a huge plus. Throw in the fact that Emmanuel Clase will be just 24-years old at the start of the 2022 season and it’s clear to see why Clase should be a core piece of Cleveland baseball for the foreseeable future.
While we mentioned the favorable contracts of Bieber and Reyes who have team control left, it’s nothing compared to Clase. Clase doesn’t even start the arbitration process until the 2024 season. That means he’ll be under team control in Cleveland through the 2026 season. Translation, Cleveland could have their closer locked in for the next five years at least at a basement price.
It took Clase a bit to settle in this year. He hadn’t pitched since 2019 and that was only 21 games at the major league level. However, the last couple months have watched Clase harness the closer role. He’s allowed just one run since July 17, has walked just one since July 9 and has 11 saves since July 25, being perfect in save opportunities since that date.
Being so young and already established in a key role, Clase will be the cornerstone for the bullpen, without a doubt. He should be one of the better players in Cleveland for a long time.