Former Texas Rangers reliever Emmanuel Clase was suspended for 80 games on Friday after a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.
What many Cleveland Indians’ fans viewed as a lopsided trade is likely looking a bit more lopsided after news broke that reliever Emmanuel Clase would be suspended for 80 games at the start of the 2020 season. Clase was the centerpiece of the trade that brought two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers and was reportedly the coveted prospect that made Cleveland turn down numerous other offers.
Clase reportedly tested positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing drug. A deep dive on Boldenone shows that it is classified as an anabolic steroid.
The initial reaction to the trade that sent Kluber to Texas was that the return for Cleveland was fairly light. Clase was joined by outfielder Delino DeShields as the return for Kluber and despite Delino’s big league experience, Clase was the carrying piece that got the Indians to make the move. On the flip side, Clase was a tough prospect for many Texas fans to lose despite bringing in a pitcher of Kluber’s pedigree. The right-handed reliever made his big league debut in 2019 and quickly garnered fan support with his electric 100-plus MPH cutter which made great social media fodder for the league and club alike.
Long-term, Clase has the potential of a high-end late game reliever with closer qualities. At 22, he is considered to have some of the best natural stuff in the game and while he still needs plenty of polish, his absence will be a loss felt by Cleveland this season. It has been confirmed that Clase’s suspension won’t start until the season begins which carries added weight with the current season delay. Clase was set to play a role of some significance in the Indians’ bullpen so the blow of at least half the season and likely more is a notable one.