The Guardians are in a unique position at the trade deadline this year. They are flush with young talent -- especially on the pitching side -- which would make most teams in MLB quite jealous. But they're also very much in the mix for a playoff spot, which means they may need to trade some of that talent away to upgrade other areas (like the lineup).
If Cleveland's serious about making the postseason this year, it's going to have to make some tough choices and part with a few building blocks. The front office needs to be bold, but also identify which players it should keep and which ones it can live without.
That said, here are three players the Guardians should make sure they hang on to at the deadline.
3 Players the Guardians Should Keep
1. Logan Allen
For starters, Allen's the only lefty in our rotation right now. We need to keep him around if we want to have any semblance of balance.
He's also pretty good, and he's only getting better. The 24-year-old rookie has really come into his own this summer, posting a 1.83 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings over his last four starts. He seems more confident every time he takes the mound, and you have to love that about him.
Looking under the hood, there's not much to suggest the Guardians should try to sell high on him. His 3.69 FIP is right in line with his 3.39 ERA and he's averaging more than a strikeout per inning, so he's missing plenty of bats and learning how to pitch. His 1.33 WHIP is a bit higher than you'd like it to be, but it's been coming down lately as he's done a better job of limiting his walks.
When I look at Allen, I also like his composure and how he always seems to be in control. You wouldn't think he's a rookie based on the way he goes about his game and the poise he has on the mound. You can tell he trusts his stuff and doesn't try to do too much.
In other words, he's already pretty polished for a guy with 14 big-league starts under his belt. He's only going to get better, and giving up on him now would be a big mistake.