3. Extend Bo Naylor
If the Guardians want to keep players around for a while (like Ramirez), they need to lock them up early in their careers before they get too expensive.
That's precisely what they should do with Bo Naylor this winter. Granted, he's only played 67 games so far, but he already looks like the real deal.
The former first-round pick got his first extended taste of the big leagues in 2023, and he didn't disappoint. In those 67 games (roughly half a season for a catcher), he slashed .237/.339/.470 with 11 homers, 13 doubles and 5 steals.
Those would be special numbers for a rookie at any position, but for a catcher they're even more impressive. Catchers typically take longer to develop offensively because of all the extra work they have to put in on defense, but Naylor is already hitting like an All-Star at age 23. Aside from the occasional Buster Posey or Adley Rutschman, you just don't see young catchers emerge as offensive studs that early.
Naylor also has all the tools you could ever want in a young ballplayer. Power? Check. Patience? Check. Speed? Check.
This is a guy who should only get better as he gains experience and gets more comfortable in the big leagues. He's going to be a star in this league for a long time and should be our starting catcher for years to come. In order for that to happen, though, we need to lock him down long before he ever sniffs free agency, because by then he'll cost a fortune.
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