Guardians Sign Veteran Starter After 2023 Comeback Season

The Cleveland Guardians have signed a journeyman starter to help provide some cheap pitching depth for the 2024 campaign.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Ben Lively (59) delivers a pitch in the fifth inning of a baseball
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Ben Lively (59) delivers a pitch in the fifth inning of a baseball / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Cleveland Guardians fans know their team isn't planning to go big-game hunting this offseason. However, that doesn't mean they won't make any kind of moves.

Additions around the margins are still noteworthy as this club heads into its first year under new manager Stephen Vogt. In fact, the team signed some starting pitching depth on Tuesday ahead of the 2024 campaign.

Guardians News: Ben Lively Signed in Free Agency

Cleveland announced on social media it's agreed to a major-league deal with veteran hurler Ben Lively. Zack Meisel of The Athletic added the contract is for one year and $750K.

Lively's had an interesting journey as a baseball professional. He was originally drafted by Cleveland in 2010 before re-entering the draft again three years later, which saw him dramatically improve his position, going from a 26th-round selection to coming off of the board in the fourth to the Cincinnati Reds.

He made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017, was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 2018, and then appeared in one game for KC in 2019 before heading to the minors. Lively took his talents overseas shortly thereafter, pitching three years for the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization.

The vet then got a chance to make his major-league return in 2023 after re-signing with the Reds. He was called up early on in the season and ended up making 19 appearances -- including 12 starts -- for Cincinnati while recording a 5.38 ERA and 79 strikeouts across 88.2 innings.

Lively is by no means a high-upside signing at this point in his career. His 2023 performance wasn't particularly promising, either. He does provide some cheap depth for this rotation, though, that could help eat up innings.

It's not much, but this is the type of additions Guardians fans can expect in the lead up to Spring Training.

Naturally the move also doesn't budge Cleveland's odds to win the AL in 2024, which are the sixth-worst at 30-to-1.

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