Cubs Linked to Potential Trade for All-Star Closer

The Cubs' bullpen was the demise of last season. They need to make a big move to keep that from happening again.
Sep 16, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Emmanuel Clase (48) throws a
Sep 16, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Emmanuel Clase (48) throws a / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs were on the path to exceeding expectations and possibly winning a division title in the second half of 2023. Entering the home stretch of the regular season, they were in hot pursuit of the Milwaukee Brewers with a good chance to stun them. But ultimately, fatigue hit the bullpen hard, and they could not finish the job.

First thing this offseason, in a shocking move, manager David Ross was relieved of his duties after former Brewers' skipper Craig Counsel became available. We'll never know if this move was made strictly because of Counsel's managerial job up north being great with the tools he was provided.

But one has to believe the downfall of the team, specifically the bullpen, late in the season led to the decision to move on from Ross.

Jed Hoyer took blame as well, saying he must be better at providing better options for the manager. The Cubs still need to make moves to build stability in the bullpen if they plan to compete in 2024. One MLB insider believes there is a closer available that would fit the Cubs' needs for the right price.

Levine: Cubs "open" to move for Emmanuel Clase

Baseball writer Bruce Levine said on Sports Radio 670 the Score in Chicago that the Cubs could land star closer Emmanuel Clase in a trade with the Cleveland Guardians. Clase is coming off of two straight All-Star seasons with at least 40 saves and has a career ERA of 2.00. He is under contract for at least three more years, through 2026, for $4 million and then has $10 million club options in 2027 and 2028.

The Cubs could greatly use Clase as the cemented closer in their bullpen, to the likes they have not had consistently for a long time now. But you'd have to believe the price tag for him would be steep.

If the Cubs want to make this move, you can believe that a top prospect or another young talent would be sent to Cleveland for him.

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