3 Guardians Who Won't Be Back after 2023 Season Collapse

These guys will be playing elsewhere before long.

3 Guardians who won't be back with the team in 2024, including Lucas Giolito.
3 Guardians who won't be back with the team in 2024, including Lucas Giolito. / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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At this point, there's not much more to say about how disappointing the Guardians have been this season. Hopes were high after they won 92 games and the AL Central last year, but 2023 hasn't been nearly as successful.

Cleveland was in the playoff hunt for much of the year and briefly led the division in late June and early July, but things have taken a turn for the worse over the last month or so. The Guardians are just 14-22 since July 28, allowing the Twins to build up a comfortable 6-game lead in the AL Central. And after a brutal 20-6 loss to Minnesota on Labor Day, Cleveland now sits 6 games below .500 with only a 2.4% chance of making the postseason, according to Baseball-Reference.

While there's a good chance Terry Francona won't be back in the dugout next year, several key players will likely move on this offseason as well. If the Guardians want 2024 to be more like 2022 than 2023, it's clear they need to make some changes to the roster this winter.

With that in mind, here are three players who likely won't be back with Cleveland next year.

3 Players Moving on from Guardians

1. Lucas Giolito

When the Angels put much of their team on waivers last week, the Guardians pounced, snapping up Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Matt Moore. It felt like too little, too late, however, more than a month after Cleveland blew the trade deadline.

Giolito didn't make a good first impression with his new team, either, getting shelled by the Twins in his first start for the Guardians (the aforementioned 20-6 rout). In a game that Cleveland absolutely had to win, Giolito didn't even give his new teammates a chance.

Bad starts happen, but Giolito has been broken for a while now. Since the beginning of 2022, the former All-Star is 18-21 with a 4.89 ERA, a 4.61 FIP and a 1.38 WHIP in 58 starts spanning 318 1/3 innings.

With Giolito set to become a free agent at season's end, the Guardians will almost surely let him walk, barring a miraculous turnaround down the stretch. Even if he does bounce back, Cleveland already has plenty of pitching and would be better served spending on bats instead of arms this winter.