Trade Number Two
The Chicago Cubs Receive RHP Shane Bieber and RHP Emmanuel Clase
The Cleveland Guardians Receive OF Alexander Canario, LHP Jordan Wicks, INF Christopher Morel
We’ve already discussed the Wicks/Bieber component of this deal but if you’re going to try to get a 25-year-old, two-time saves leader in all of baseball, who is under team control for five seasons then you’re going to have to roll out the red carpet and increase the prospect return of the additional pieces.
The Cubs would send their 9th (Wicks) and 12th (Canario) best prospects but they’d also include a massive piece that the Guardians could pair with Josh Naylor to provide them with power that the franchise hasn’t had in years with regards to Christopher Morel.
Canario had a freak injury before the season started last year but managed to return and rise all the way to Wrigley Field. He’s a power hitter through and through as he put up 25 XBH in just 233 PA in the minors last year.
Morel is a fascinating player. He doesn’t have a defensive position and is truly hard to watch just about anywhere on the diamond. He’s also an overly aggressive hitter that can be fooled by good pitching as shown by the 270 strikeouts he has in his 220 major league games. That being said, he destroys baseballs. He has a career ISO of .230 and he increased his batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and home run output last year as a 24-year-old. He’s the jewel of this deal.
Why the Guardians would say no:
The Guardians don’t want to trade Shane Bieber despite the fact that his contract is almost up and they’ll get nothing in return for him. That means the idea of trading not only Bieber but also a cost-controlled asset like Clase has to put a really bad taste in their mouths and while Morel’s power potential is intriguing and Wicks’ ability to slot into the rotation is enticing, the deal is sending away too much in terms of known production in return for wild cards.
Why the Cubs would say no:
The Cubs don’t want to trade Christopher Morel. They don’t want to trade Canario or Wicks for that matter either, but just because Morel missed Cubs Con last week does not mean that they have moved on from the enigmatic slugger with the infectious smile. If this deal were offered prior to last season when Clase and Bieber didn’t have so many sharp edges it may be a different story, but after the 2023 that both of them experienced they’re not a slam dunk to be an improvement over the combination of Wicks and Alzolay that the Cubs already have in the rotation/bullpen.