April 22, 2024

Tuesday afternoon was an interesting time for baseball fans across the country.

The Los Angeles Angels decided to waive five players on their 26-man roster, starter Lucas Giolito, relievers Matt Moore and Reynaldo Lopez, and outfielders Randal Grichuk and Hunter Renfroe. As if fans already weren’t taken aback by this bizarre move by the Angels front office, the New York Yankees also waived OF Harrison Bader shortly after. Over the past few days, people around the country have tried to determine where all of these players would end up if claimed at all. After it was all said and done early this afternoon, the Cleveland Guardians had claimed Giolito, Moore, AND Lopez, with fellow Ohio club Cincinnati claiming Bader and Renfroe. Randal Grichuk went unclaimed and will return to Los Angeles.

But what do these players have to offer for the Guardians, and could they help push them into the playoffs?

First, let’s start off with starter Lucas Giolito. He began the season with the division rival Chicago White Sox, starting off the season with a 6-4 loss to the Houston Astros, in which Giolito threw five innings with six K’s and two runs allowed. As the season became sour for the White Sox, and with Giolito’s contract ending at the end of the year, Chicago maximized his value and traded him and reliever Reynaldo Lopez to the Los Angeles Angels at the deadline for 2 minor league prospects. The 29-year-old’s season ERA stood at 4.46 with 165 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP when he was put on waivers by the Angels two days ago. While the current season may not be looking too good for him, Giolito is a very talented pitcher who has played elite baseball in the past. He even pitched a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 25, 2020!

Next up is reliever Matt Moore. Moore has a really good ERA of 2.66 in 41 games and 44.0 innings. Not only is this year’s ERA good but with the Texas Rangers, Moore boasted a 1.95 ERA in 63 games and 74.0 innings. Originally featuring as a starter, Moore struggled and moved to Japan in 2020, but found new opportunities as a reliever whilst with the Rangers. The 34-year-old lefty has featured in a single all-star game and is also a free agent at the end of the year. Moore was signed to a one-year $7.55 million contract this off-season by the Angels and will certainly be a huge addition to the Guardians bullpen.

Finally, the Guardians claimed yet another bullpen piece from the Angels, with this being Reynaldo Lopez. The other piece from the Giolito move at the deadline, Lopez currently holds a 3.93 ERA with 71 K’s in 56 games and 53.0 innings. The right-hander has strangely been involved with Giolito in three superset transactions, with them being traded from the Nationals to the White Sox in late 2016, again at the deadline to the Angels, and they will both be teammates again this year in Cleveland.

Regardless of how pessimistic or optimistic you are about the Guardians’ season, it is clear that hope has not been lost after these waiver claims. The club sits 64-70 and 5.0 games off the top of the AL Central with 28 games to go. A playoff push is never off the table until elimination. Go Guards!

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