The Guardians have reportedly agreed to a five-year, $20MM extension with reliever Emmanuel Clase, per Mike Rodriguez of Univision (via Twitter). The deal is pending a physical. The possibility of an extension for Clase first broke yesterday.
The deal includes a $2MM signing bonus and two option years at $10MM apiece for the 2027 and 2028 seasons, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). There is a $2MM buyout for each season, while incentives can raise the sum of each year to $13MM per year. Those option years buy out Clase’s first two years of free agency.
Clase dominated batters to the tune of a 1.29 ERA, 67.6% grounder rate, 26.5% strikeout rate, and 5.7% walk rate over 69 2/3 innings for the Guardians in 2021. He finished in the upper echelon of basically every Statcast metric in the book, while also averaging 100.3 mph on his fastball. If that wasn’t enough, Clase complemented that great fastball with a devastating slider. That wicked combination was what made Clase a tantalizing return for Corey Kluber when their long-time ace was dealt to the Texas Rangers.
The 24-year-old figures to be the Guardians’ primary closer this season. Perhaps more to the point, the Guardians hope he will be at the center of their run prevention plans for the next seven seasons, the length of contract control the team now holds over Clase. He is the only player Cleveland with a guaranteed contract beyond 2023.