The Guardians are heading into a pivotal offseason. Not only is Terry Francona retiring after 11 years at the helm, but they also need to recalibrate the roster after finishing with a losing record and missing out on the postseason.
The pitching staff is in good shape with tons of controllable young arms, but the lineup could use some help after ranking as one of the worst in baseball this year. Jose Ramirez is a great start, but we need more legitimate threats around him.
While Cleveland isn't known for splurging on free agents, this is the winter to do it. We have a talented young core, though with the right pieces around it we could have a World Series contender on our hands.
Here are three free agents the Guardians should target (and two they should avoid) this offseason.
Guardians Free Agent Targets
1. TARGET: Adam Duvall
If you're looking for a cheap source of power, Duvall is your man.
Coming off a down 2022, Duvall enjoyed a renaissance with the Red Sox this year. Despite appearing in just 88 games due to injuries, Duvall walloped 21 home runs and 24 doubles while batting .251/.309/.541. He also carried the offense for several stretches at a time with his epic hot streaks, most notably at the start of the season and in late August.
If there's one thing Cleveland's lineup needs it's pop, and Duvall offers plenty of that. His 21 homers would've ranked second on our team this year, which needs a boost after ranking last in the American League in long balls.
Duvall isn't just a slugger, either. He can steal the occasional base and is a solid outfielder, winning a Gold Glove as recently as 2021.
After missing extensive time with injuries the last two seasons, Duvall should be relatively affordable this winter. He's also 35 and won't be expecting a long-term deal, so we could probably get him for 2-3 years at $20-$30 million.
A basher on a budget? Don't mind if we do!