After doling out well over $1 billion in deals for Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow, the Los Angeles Dodgers may still have more moves to go before putting a bow on their already staggering offseason. At least, that's the belief of Jim Bowden, who thinks Andrew Friedman could go after Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase via trade before it's all said and done.
Just 25 years old and potentially under control via his current deal and a pair of team options through 2028, Cleveland could command a king's ransom for their flamethrowing right-hander. Clase led the league in saves in each of the last two seasons, earning All-Star nods in both 2022 and 2023. This season for the Guardians, he worked to a 2.91 FIP in 75 appearances - and he's the highest profile reliever that could change hands this winter.
Cubs have been connected to Emmanuel Clase in trade rumors
Now, obviously, this is relevant to the Cubs given the rumblings connecting the team to the Guardians in talks over Shane Bieber and, potentially, Clase and first baseman Josh Naylor. With Yamamoto and Ohtani off the market, Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery could follow soon - at which point Bieber's market will take on a firmer shape. You can count on Cleveland exploring trading Bieber on his own and also exploring packages with other players, as well.
Chicago hasn't spent big on a late-inning reliever since signing Craig Kimbrel midway through the 2019 season and has instead pieced things together on a yearly basis, almost completely avoiding even multi-year deals for relief arms, let alone bringing in someone of Clase's stature.
By and large, that approach has worked well for Jed Hoyer, but early this winter, we heard the Cubs might be more open to looking for more established answers in the bullpen this offseason. Given Clase's age and stuff, not to mention his team-friendly deal, he could be a long-term answer for the club - but it remains to be seen if they're willing to come off the prospects it would take to bring him to the North Side.
And, well, if you're competing with the Dodgers, whose resources feel limitless at this point, it's hard for any of the other 29 teams to feel too confident after watching how LA flexed its muscle over the last month or so.