The Los Angeles Dodgers upended the baseball world yet again when they signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a 12-year, $325 million contract Thursday night. Only problem? There's no space for him on the roster right now! The 40-man is full.
As we've said a billion times before, expect more trades to come this offseason. The Dodgers need to clear roster spots and they're going to make sure they got something in return for the many assets they have at their disposal.
Various trades have been speculated upon. Dylan Cease has been a big name. Same with Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames. Some have floated Shane Bieber. The list goes on.
It's unclear what'll happen now that Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani have opened the floodgates, but one MLB insider thinks he's pinpointed the Dodgers' next blockbuster move, which is something we touched upon earlier in the offseason.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic believes Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase could be next on the docket for Andrew Friedman and Co. It makes all the sense in the world, too, given Cleveland's needs and what the Dodgers can afford to part with.
MLB insider already lines up Dodgers' next blockbuster move after Yamamoto deal
The Guardians have reportedly been listening to offers on slugger Josh Naylor -- a development that might indicate they're re-tooling or rebuilding. And if Naylor and Bieber are rumored trade candidates, then why wouldn't a star closer at peak value be another?
If the Guards have no intention of contending in 2024 or 2025, then they have little use for Clase, who is signed through 2026 with team options for 2027 and 2028. He inked an extension early in the 2022 campaign that pays him $20 million over five years (with the club options each being worth $10 million).
That's an easy contract for the Dodgers to afford, and Clase would provide stability in the back end of a largely shaky bullpen that's been a revolving door the last few seasons.
What'll it take to land the right-hander? Probably two top prospects. The Dodgers could extend the deal to include Bieber, perhaps, and throw in two more players to free up more spots on the 40-man. You'd have to imagine that would include ... Michael Busch, Miguel Vargas, Hunter Feduccia and somebody else? Others on the 40-man that could be dealt include Emmet Sheehan, Gavin Stone, Andy Pages, Landon Knack, Michael Grove, Nick Frasso and Diego Cartaya (to varying degrees).
Expect things to pick up after the holidays and the Dodgers to very much be back at the forefront of the trade market discussion.