With the 2023 MLB regular season officially behind us, Guardians fans can start turning the page to 2024 after a disappointing season. The 2022 AL Central champs fell off pretty dramatically this year, winning 16 fewer games and slipping from first to third in the standings.
The Twins aren't going anywhere and the Tigers are on the rise, so Cleveland has some work to do if it wants to get back to the top of the division. This year exposed some major flaws on the roster that need to be addressed, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
With that in mind, here are the five biggest offseason priorities for the Guardians that need to be addressed this winter.
5 Biggest Guardians Offseason Priorities
1. Replace Terry Francona
The most pressing issue facing Cleveland this offseason is finding a new manager to replace Francona, who is finally retiring after 11 seasons at the helm here.
Replacing a manager is never an easy task, especially a Hall of Fame manager at that. Whoever manages the team next year has some massive shoes to fill.
That said, the Guardians now have a chance to bring in someone younger and more energetic. Francona was awesome, but his age (64), health issues and the grind of managing for 23 years seemed to be taking their toll on him. With such a young team, a more youthful manager might be a better fit for Cleveland.
Fortunately, the Guardians have options. They could go with a familiar face from their coaching staff or hire an external candidate to shake things up. We'll know more in the other days as some teams inevitably part ways with their current field managers, giving us even more options to choose from.
Luckily for us, managing in Cleveland is a pretty attractive gig and sells itself. Who wouldn't want to manage a young team on the brink of contention with a passionate fan base behind it?
Francona wasn't able to get us over the hump, but hopefully the next person will.