Cubs’ heavy interest in pitcher could reportedly be spoilt due to high asking price


Cleveland Guardians ace Emmanuel Clase has reportedly garnered trade interest from the Chicago Cubs. In 2022, the Guardians signed Clase to a five-year, $20 million contract, including a $10 million club option for the 2027–28 season. He will earn $2.5 million in 2024, $4.5 million in 2025 and $6 million in 2026. The buyout clause stands at $2 million if invoked.

However, the Cubs’ pursuit of Clase faces trade hurdles due to the high asking price from the Guardians. Baseball analyst Bruce Levine reported that the Guardians are asking for Cade Horton, the Cubs’ top pitching prospect and top 30 overall MLB prospect, in return.

Horton is poised to get a call in the majors in 2024, making him an exciting prospect for the Cubs in the near future. Moreover, the other asks for top prospects, which will strain the Cubs’ well-established farm system.

Clase’s friendly long-term contract might have enticed the Cubs to go for the long shot but the asking price has spoiled their ideas. The Cubs are still on the lookout for a high-leverage bullpen addition this offseason and if they can’t give up what the Guardians asked, they might have to look elsewhere.

Emmanuel Clase’s MLB career

Hailing from Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic, Emmanuel Clase was signed by the San Diego Padres as an international free agent in 2015. He was then dealt to the Texas Rangers in 2018 and made his debut on Aug. 4, 2019.

On Dec. 15, 2019, the Rangers moved Clase and Delino DeShields Jr. to the then-called Cleveland Indians in exchange for Corey Kluber and cash.

Clase was suspended for 80 games on May 1, 2020, after testing positive for Boldenone, a banned performance-enhancing drug. However, his suspension was lifted after the 2020 COVID-shortened season.

In his first All-Star season, he went 3-4 with a 1.36 ERA in 72.2 innings, leading the league in saves (42-46). His last season wasn’t his best, despite making his second All-Star selection. He had a 3-8 record with an ERA of 3.22, compiling 64 strikeouts and 44 saves in 75 appearances.

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