With touch down in San Diego on Sunday, Major League Baseball’s winter meetings are underway, and those close to the game are already suggesting that this year’s rendezvous could be bonkers with activity.
This could very well include activity from our own Cleveland Guardians, who should be looking to add to a roster that was strong enough to make the American League Division Series and win the AL Central division but still has noticeable holes. By addressing these deficiencies and allowing a young roster continues to progress, the Guardians could go from competitive to a real threat to win a world title in 2023.
At the same time, Guardians fans are understandably uneasy about their team’s ability to acquire the needed additional talent. The last off-season was one that was believed to have even larger glaring holes for the Guardians. At the time, it seemed like those inadequacies went unaddressed. Little did we know at that time how much talent would come from within and improve the ball club. That plan worked but still, the Guardians have averaged committing only $4.2 million a year to bring in new players via free agency in the last four off-seasons. In none of those seasons did any of the signings include more than a 1-year commitment.
With that, and with this week’s missing out on former White Sox and current Astros slugger Jose Abreu, it is understandable for fans to feel a little uneasy. However, as I stated earlier this week, where the Guardians Front Office has really excelled is acquiring talent via trade.
So, despite understandably wanting to nay-say, fans should be optimistic that Cleveland will look to use its absolute bevy of young talent (good enough for a top five minor league system) to bring in the type of players that will take them to the next level. In the name of the Winter Meetings kicking off, let’s take a look at a few possible trade candidates and even potential trade ideas for the Guardians to explore in the coming days and weeks. All trades I suggest were approved by the very interesting and useful MLB Trade Values website. MLB Trade Values runs a computer simulator using historical data that tells its user if proposed trades are realistic or not (think NBA Trade Machine, but approval means the trade is realistic). So everything suggested here should at least be considered possible.
Let’s start with one of baseball’s most prominent trade candidates.