In a recent report, 670 The Score analyzed the comments made by Jed Hoyer, President of Baseball Operations, regarding the state of the bullpen and the possibility of adding new players.
The Cubs’ offseason has been surprisingly quiet, and Hoyer’s remarks shed some light on the team’s plans for the bullpen moving forward.
The Cubs could potentially acquire RHP Emmanuel Clase, the current closer for the Cleveland Guardians. They provided a thorough and sensible description of the player.
“While the Cubs are reluctant to dole out big money to relievers, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in acquiring a star in the role. The Cubs have interest in 25-year-old Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase on the trade market, sources said”– Bruce Levine, 670 The Score
Starting with the negatives, it’s worth noting that the numbers mentioned above are truly outstanding. Being at the top of the league in saves is a remarkable achievement, especially considering that the team has only performed moderately well in the past two seasons. This accomplishment is definitely something to be proud of.
Despite being an All-Star last season, he experienced a significant decline in performance. He suffered more than twice the number of losses (9) compared to the previous year (4) and had three times as many blown saves (12) as in 2022 (4).
His impressive 1.36 ERA from 2022 skyrocketed to 3.22, and according to Baseball Reference, his value dropped to less than 1 WAR. Speaking of the positive aspects, the Guardians have managed to secure him under a highly favorable contract, which is a significant advantage for any team under Jed Hoyer’s leadership.
This contract ensures that he will be with the team until the 2028 season, giving him the opportunity to enter free agency at a relatively young age of 30. What I find intriguing about this situation is how the Guardians, who have always excelled at maximizing their pitching talent, encountered a setback last season. Surprisingly, two key pitchers on the team, Clase and Shane Bieber, had the worst performances of their careers.
Considering the prospect cost and the need for late-inning relief options, the Cubs may find it worthwhile to explore trading for a player like Emmanuel Clase. However, before making such a move, they should ensure that Adbert Alzolay’s situation is addressed to maintain his confidence for the upcoming 2024 season.
It’s important for the Cubs to have reliable pitchers who can come in during the late innings and secure outs. Craig Counsell, the new manager, has demonstrated his ability to maximize the potential of top-end relief options, as seen with RHP Devin Williams and LHP Josh Hader during his time managing in Milwaukee.
Trading for a 25-year-old, even if he had a tough season, who has been the league’s saves leader for two consecutive years, will inevitably come with a steep asking price. It is highly possible that the Cubs will have to part with players that their fans are not keen on losing, such as DH Christopher Morel or 2023 1st Round Pick Matt Shaw.