April 19, 2024

The MLB trade deadline comes up on August 1 and checking the calendar, we are less than a week away! Whether the season has felt short or long to you, we are ~60 games away from playoff baseball returning to our TV’s. But before then, contending teams will look to improve their various team this week before the aforementioned trade deadline.

The Guardians are in an interesting situation at the moment as they sit 49-51 and 4.0 games out of 1st in the AL Central. They are certainly not complete sellers at the deadline, but they likely aren’t complete buyers either. There is still time in the season and the Guardians are still contending for a playoff spot. Obviously things can change in the next week, but it likely wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Guardians did a bit of selling and buying, perhaps small one for one deals with clubs to fill each other’s needs.

There are a couple of players the Guardians could deal before the deadline passes. The most notable trade chip in Cleveland is SP Shane Bieber and has been linked to a number of clubs over the past few months. Bieber, who is 28, will be a free agent following the 2024 season. He currently has a 3.77 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP with 95 K’s in 117 innings. However, Bieber was recently added to the 60 Day IL, and likely will not return to action until about September 10. It’s possible that this development in Bieber’s health has already turned off some teams from possibly acquiring him, but some teams may be fine with parting ways with top prospects to have Bieber back for an October run.

The Texas Rangers, who are currently 59-42 and have a 2.0 game lead over the Houston Astros in their division, have been a team mentioned more than a few times by media when Shane Bieber is brought up. The Cincinnati Reds have also been mentioned and could possibly try to swing a deal with Cleveland for Bieber involving 2B Jonathan India, but it’s not a likely move for either side as the Guardians are probably not looking for another second baseman because of Andres Gimenez and Cincinnati is not likely to want to include any of their top prospects in a deal. Personally, I can’t see Bieber being traded by the deadline, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely.

Shane Bieber isn’t the only pitcher that could be traded at the deadline, as fellow starter Aaron Civale has been mentioned as a possible trade piece in lieu of Bieber. The 28 year old from Connecticut currently holds a 2.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.08, with 49 strikeouts in 63 innings. His stats for the season look really impressive and he has surely caught the eye of some GM’s across the league looking for a starter. I don’t believe Civale wouldn’t command as much as Bieber in a trade, but he could still return a top prospect for a team looking to sneak into the playoffs or strengthen their rotation for October.

There are also a couple of teams that have been mentioned possibly targeting Civale at the deadline. The Boston Red Sox have been specifically brought up as an option, as they look to become a contender for the Wild Card Race, in which they sit 2.5 games back from the Toronto Blue Jays. Due to their position in the standings, I also can’t see the Guardians parting ways with Civale unless they get a really good offer.

Finally, it’s possible that the Guardians buy at the deadline, of course. A key detail I left out is that Guardians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti has said that the Guardians are likely to add players to the roster rather than move players out. With Bieber and Tristan McKenzie both sidelined for a significant amount of time, with Dr Sticks possibly being out for the rest of the year, the Guardians could try to trade for another starter. The main and most definitely realistic target for the Guardians should absolutely be Shohei Ohtani (just kidding, of course, but imagine Shohei in Cleveland). Jokes aside, White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn has been mentioned in the past, but the Guardians seem to be on Lynn’s no trade list, and he has allowed an MLB high 28 home runs.

The most important piece for the Guardians to add is a power hitting outfielder, with a number of names possibly being available that fit the criteria. Lars Nootbar could be a very sneaky addition for the Guardians, but it’s likely that the 25 year old hitting .263/.367/.394 could get a decent return. The most likely option also currently plays in the NL Central, with Cody Bellinger of the Chicago Cubs being a very intriguing option for the Guardians. The 28-year-old is currently hitting .319/.369/.549 with 14 homers and 44 RBI. He also has 15 doubles and a triple. Bellinger could be a decent option as he can play every outfield position and brings tons of power up to bat.

But who knows anyway, the Cleveland Guardians have a choice to make; buyer or seller and Mike Chernoff, Tito Francona and Chris Antonetti are some of the only people who will make that choice.

UPDATE: Guardians SS Amed Rosario has reportedly been dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for SP Noah Syndergaard, per Ken Rosenthal and multiple other MLB insiders. Syndergaard, 30, will fill in a starting rotation spot for Cleveland as mentioned in the article. We at Cleveland Sports Talk wish nothing but the best for Amed as he embarks on a new journey for the Dodgers!
 
 

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