Two Key Guardians Involved in Trade Rumors at Winter Meetings

Two important Cleveland Guardians players are the subject of hot trade rumors at the 2023 MLB Winter Meetings.
Nov 7, 2023; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Cleveland Guardians general manager Mike Chernoff speaks to the
Nov 7, 2023; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Cleveland Guardians general manager Mike Chernoff speaks to the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the annual MLB Winter Meetings officially in full swing, the Cleveland Guardians have a chance to get a read on other teams for potential trades. However, it appears Cleveland is more interested in dealing top players instead of acquiring them due to payroll concerns.

That makes it no big surprise, then, that two important members of the club are the subject of trade rumors right now.

Paul Hoynes of reports Cleveland is "listening" to offers on both starter Shane Bieber and closer Emmanuel Clase. Hoynes adds calls have come in since the end of the season, but there's been an "uptick" since the winter meetings began.

There's simply no reason a team intent on contending would be looking to part with two players who are among the best at their respective positions. However, it appears the recent breakdown in the Guardians' TV deal has made the front office wary of shelling out big money with that revenue stream uncertain.

That puts Bieber (a free agent after this season) and Clase (who just signed a lucrative extension) both on the chopping block, especially considering the cheap prospect talent the club would likely receive in return. This method of roster (de)construction was on full display at the trade deadline when Aaron Civale was dealt for first base prospect Kyle Manzardo.

It'd certainly be frustrating to see major contributors sold off just because of financial constraints, doubly so when this team is in need of more talent, instead of less. The locker room was already reportedly bothered by the Civale trade at the deadline, and it's tough to imagine things going somehow smoother if Bieber or Clase exit.

Cleveland making its interest in cost-cutting abundant clear at least helps set fans expectations for the 2024 season, which is shaping up to be a hard reset as first-year manager Stephen Vogt steps in.

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