Trade proposal for Emmanuel Clase would add much-needed power to Guardians' lineup

Cleveland Guardians v Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Guardians v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

it is no secret that multiple teams have interest in acquiring Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase. While the Guardians do not appear to be all that motivated to move Clase at this time, that has not stopped trade proposals from being made in an attempt to find an ideal landing spot for the soon-to-be 26-year-old closer.

A recent "win-win" trade proposal was put together by Bleacher Report's Zachary Rymer with Cleveland finding a way to add some power to their lineup. Rymer has Clase ending up with the Chicago Cubs, while the Guardians receive Christopher Morel and sixth-ranked Cubs prospect Owen Caissie.

Even though it would be difficult to part ways with Clase, this is a trade package that would be incredibly difficult to turn down. Morel has proven to be a power threat over his first two major league seasons, hitting 42 home runs in his first 220 games, and has two more seasons before reaching arbitration. Progression is not always linear, but seeing Morel's slash line improve from .235/.308/.433 as a rookie to .247/.313/.508 last season is very encouraging.

Caissie is a 21-year-old outfield prospect coming off a season that saw him finish 2023 with 31 doubles, 22 home runs, and 84 runs driven in with a .289/.399/.519 slash line in 120 games with the Tennessee Smokies, the Cubs' Double-A affiliate. Even though he is still a little ways away from making his MLB debut, being able to add another outfield prospect with power into the Guardians' prospect mix is a proposition that is incredibly hard to turn down.

The one big obstacle for Cleveland when it comes to this trade proposal, in particular, is removing an arm at the back end of their bullpen that has been lights out since coming from Texas in exchange for Corey Kluber in 2020. There is not a replacement on hand currently to take over for Clase in the event he should be traded, and that presents a problem.

Not having someone waiting in the wings could make the Guardians hesitant to deal Clase, and it is hard to argue with that mindset. However, when taking into account the relative volatility of relievers (closers in particular) and the opportunity to improve their outfield group at the major and minor league level, changing their way of thinking may be their best foot forward. Cleveland's outfield has (mostly) been an offensive drain for way too long. Finding a way to infuse some power into that group should lead to better production for everyone else in the lineup and lead to more wins overall.