3 trade proposals for the Cardinals to acquire Emmanuel Clase and Shane Bieber

The Cleveland Guardians are rumored to hear offers on Shane Bieber and now Emmanuel Clase. St. Louis could nab both of them, finalizing their rotation and stabalizing their bullpen.

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians
Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Proposal #1

Guardians receive Alec Burleson, Matthew Liberatore, Andre Pallante, and Leonardo Bernal
Cardinals receive Shane Bieber and Emmanuel Clase

In this trade, St. Louis sends over a potent offensive outfielder in Burleson, a project pitcher in Liberatore, a reliever with upside in Pallante, and a low minors catching prospect in Bernal. In return, St. Louis gets Bieber and Clase. St. Louis bolsters its rotation and gives it more upside, and the Cardinals get a great closer to pair with Ryan Helsley.

Let's start with Leonardo Bernal. The Cardinals signed him in January of 2021 out of Panama for $680,000. He is still only 19 and will spend the entire 2024 season as a twenty-year-old. He is a switch hitter who has shown power potential, but he has yet to truly tap into that power. Bernal is very strong defensively, and he can control a game well. Should he figure out his power, his low strikeout percentage is promising. Cleveland can wait on him as he develops into a strong major-league catcher.

Andre Pallante is working hard this offseason to improve. While he isn't a direct replacement for what Emmanuel Clase can provide in a bullpen, he will be good enough to keep the Guardians in it late in games. Matthew Liberatore would allow Cleveland, a franchise that excels at developing pitchers, a chance to bring him back to his former top-prospect status.

The major piece in this deal is Alec Burleson. He has yet to put it all together at the highest level of baseball, but Burleson did nothing but mash in the minors. He has a career slash line of .300/.350/.492 with 42 home runs in 888 plate appearances. In the majors, he has a .237/.295/.375 slash line for an OPS+ of just 83. Cleveland would be banking on the idea that with consistent playing time, Burleson can find the stroke he once had in the minors. Defensively, he has a negative value in both 2022 and 2023 according to Outs Above Average. With more time, he could find comfort in the grass.

Burly can step into right field, thus allowing Ramon Laureano the freedom to be Cleveland's fourth outfielder or defensive replacement. His left-handed power bat would provide good depth behind Kyle Manzardo and Jose Ramirez.