The collective bargaining agreement expired on Thursday morning, translation Major League Baseball is in a lockout. The league and the player’s union could not agree upon a new deal, making this the first lockout in 26 years, dating back to the 1994-1995 MLB season. It always comes down to money as the owners are greedy and don’t want to spend money on the team. Recently, Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement and mentioned that it is a disappointment and that the league will work hard to get the situation resolved. In free agency, thus far, 1.7 billion dollars have been spent on free agents. The problem is Rob Manfred is not holding other owners accountable. A team such as the Pittsburgh Pirates declined giving arbitration deals to their players, which saved the team 11.13 million dollars. I have a simple solution to this, for owners such as Robert Nutting, fine the club for purposely not trying to be competitive. It will hold owners accountable and force teams to spend money. Alright, I’m done with my rant. For now, at least, let us dive into the Cleveland Guardians off-season.
The Cleveland Guardians have made two small moves, signing Enyel De Los Santos on a minor league deal and an invite to spring training. The 25- year old De Los Santos pitched for the Phillies and the Pirates a season ago. His record was 2-1, with a high ERA of 6.33 in 33 games. The Guardians also have signed to a minor league contract, catcher Sandy Leon with an invite to spring training. Leon 33, played for the Miami Marlins last year, hitting .183 with four home runs in an 83 game span. This move will help in spring training to have a seasoned veteran mentor a young group of players.
The Guardians could always use a veteran pitcher on their staff, as it helps the development of their young talented starting pitchers. Ivan Nova, Drew Smyly and Danny Duffy are names that come off the top of my head. All three pitchers are familiar with that division, as Nova pitched for the Detriot Tigers a season ago. Drafted by the Tigers, Smyly pitched for them for over two years. Danny Duffy pitched for the Kansas City Royals for over a decade, so he knows the division like the back of his hand. The starting pitchers mentioned above can give the team innings as they are serviceable starters and are in the Guardians’ price range. I understand these players are not a “sexy pick,” but it makes sense for this ball club.
Another position that the Guardians should address is first base. Colin Moran, the former Pittsburgh Pirates player, should be considered, as he can play multiple positions. Moran is a lefty bat, that can spray the ball all over the field, is cost-effective and plays solid defense. Moran finished last year with a .258 batting average, 10 home runs, 50 RBI’s, .390 slugging percentage. Those are not great numbers, but with a team that has Jose Ramirez, he can learn and improve so much from him. He fits the mold of this team as he is 29 years old, and with a lineup that includes Franmil Reyes and Oscar Mercado, he will improve on his offensive numbers. Hopefully, the lockout ends sooner rather than later.