3 Offseason Mistakes That Came Back to Haunt the Guardians

The Guardians were favorites to win the AL Central when the markets opened. Then we pulled these blunders.

Signing Mike Zunino headlines the list of offseason mistakes that came back to haunt the Guardians in 2023.
Signing Mike Zunino headlines the list of offseason mistakes that came back to haunt the Guardians in 2023. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Blowing Up the Catcher Position

Look, I'm as excited about Bo Naylor as the next Guardians fan, but there's probably not a position we effed up more holistically than the catcher spot this offseason.

Production from catchers we let walk:

  • Luke Maile: slashing .241/.292/.429 for the Reds
  • Austin Hedges: Second among all catchers with a 16.0 in FanGraphs' defensive metric (DEF)

Our catchers:

  • MIke Zunino: Released after slashing .177/.271/.306 with a 1.6 DEF
  • Bo Naylor: Slashing .209/.277/.395, 0.7 DEF
  • Cam Gallagher: Slashing .135/.171/.180, 5.8 DEF

So sure, it's nice to see Naylor get some extended playing time, but that long-term view obviously wasn't the path we were trying to take in the offseason. Instead we were forced into that approach by totally screwing things up.

Like Bell, there were also massive warning signs with the Zunino addition. He had been great in 2021, but his 2022 season was downright terrible, and banking on the 32-year-old suddenly rebounding was foolish.