The Cleveland Guardians have finally entered the rumor mill as players find teams for the 2022 season now with the lockout in the rearview mirror.
It was mostly a quiet weekend for the Guards, whose name wasn’t attached to anyone that would get the town’s meter moving–even though there were plenty of free agents they should’ve rushed to sign.
That’s changed today, with Univision’s Mike Rodriguez tweeting the Guards are one of four teams showing interest in Rockies agent Trevor Story. Rodriguez tweeted that the Yankees, Cardinals, Astros and the G-Men are interested, with St. Louis showing the most interest.
While it’s great the Guardians have a pulse, count me as surprised Cleveland would even be looking into the two-time All-Star to take over shortstop duties. MLB Trade rumors pegged Story to sign a six-year, $126 million contract, which would pay out $21 million annually.
If follow the Guardians, that might as well be a billion dollars per season. The fiscally conservative G-Men just doesn’t seem like they’re going to dole out that kind of money, especially at shortstop.
Cleveland’s system is loaded with talent at the middle infield spots, and it’d be more likely they try and tackle the problem internally.
Amed Rosario seemed to take a hold of the position last season and played well, after the club stopped flip-flopping him to the outfield. Plus, there’s Andres Gimenez, the other player acquired in the Francisco Lindor trade.
He started the season off at short and struggled, but one would think the Guardians would like to give him more time.
While the Story rumor is too good to be true, I am buying a potential Matt Olson trade with the A’s.
Olson was a 5.8 WAR player a season ago, while blasting 39 bombs for Oakland. As The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal noted, Cleveland has the prospects to strike a deal with the first baseman.
Money will be a factor, though, as it always is with Cleveland, via MLB Trade Rumors.
"“Matt Swartz projects Olson to earn $12MM in arbitration this coming season, and he’d be owed one more raise for that ’23 campaign. If Olson replicates this past season’s production, he’d surely command more than $30MM in total over the next two seasons.”"
The Guards struggled to produce at first last season, with Bobby Bradley, Yu Chang, Owen Miller and Josh Naylor all getting a shot.
If Naylor fully recovers from his ankle injury, I’d be fine leaving him in right field if it means Olson is coming to town.
If the Guardians are going to improve, look for it to happen through the trade market where there’s more options.