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Finding the Ideal Yet Realistic Guardians Offseason Plan

Share Your Plan in the Comments Below

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

As we enter the free agency period of the MLB offseason next week, it’s time for us to discuss our offseason plans for the Cleveland Guardians’ roster. Since we are no longer able to highlight fanposts on the main page, I invite you to share your plan in the comments below. In a week, I will highlight the plans you share and offer a positive reflection on each (trolling comments like “Trade the whole roster” will not be included in the follow-up article) in an article I’ll post next week.

I’ll start us off with my own realistic, ideal offseason plan, as an example:

Trade Brayan Rocchio, IF and Oscar Gonzalez, OF to the Oakland Athletics for Brent Rooker, Outfielder.
Comments: Rooker had a great season as a waiver-wire claim by Oakland, but is 29 years old, leading me to believe Oakland would trade him for the right return. Rocchio may end up being a huge overpay, especially for a player the Guardians could have had for free. But, you pay for missing out on these evaluations and to get proven slugging, and there are real questions about if Rocchio can get to any real slugging in the bigs. As for Gonzalez... what beleagured fanbase doesn’t want to root for poor Oscar to figure it out at the dish for a season before inevitably discovering that he cannot, in fact, figure it out?

Trade Nick Sandlin, RHP, Myles Straw and cash to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jason Delay, C.
Comments: The Guardians need another proven catching option aside from Bo Naylor and David Fry on the roster. Delay has good framing numbers, solid batting ability and three minor-league options available, but Pittsburgh is also loaded with catchers either in or on the cusp of the big leagues. I included Myles Straw in this deal because the Pirates are devoid of defensive skills in the outfield, so I could see a world where they take Straw off our hands if the Guardians covered a year or so of his salary (say $7-8 million). I decided I would like to live in that world.

Trade James Karinchak, RHP and Jose Tena, IF, to the Chicago Cubs for Yonathan Perlaza, OF.
Comments: This is a logjam trade. The Cubs get a player who should be a solid major league utilityman and a decent bounceback relief arm for an outfielder who is blocked for them at Triple-A. The Guardians increase their outfield depth with another right-handed hitter with pop.

Sign Mark Canha to a one-year, $12 million deal.
Comments: Positive veteran presence, steady production from the right-handed side of the plate and won’t hurt you in the outfield.

Sign Reynaldo Lopez to a three-year, $25 million deal.
Comments: Keep ReyLo here, build on a good thing.

DFA Michael Kelly, RHP.

Add Daniel Espino, Ethan Hankins, Johnny Rodriguez and Cade Smith to the 40-man prior to the Rule-5 draft.
Comments: I won’t be particularly pressed if the Guardians add only Espino from this list, but I expect the other three find their way on to the roster and there is reason to hope all can help the team in the reasonably near future.

Resulting Guardians’ 40-Man Roster:

1. Steven Kwan, CF
2. Jose Ramirez, 3B
3. Brent Rooker, RF
4. Josh Naylor, DH/1B
5. Mark Canha, LF
6. Kyle Manzardo, 1B/DH
7. Bo Naylor, C
8. Andres Gimenez, 2B
9. Gabriel Arias, SS

David Fry, C
Tyler Freeman, IF
Will Brennan, OF
Ramon Laureano, OF

Starting Rotation:
1. Shane Bieber, RHP
2. Tanner Bibee, RHP
3. Triston McKenzie, RHP
4. Gavin Williams, RHP
5. Logan Allen, LHP

1. Cal Quantrill, RHP
2. Eli Morgan, RHP
3. Cody Morris, RHP
4. Enyel De Los Santos, RHP
5. Sam Hentges, LHP
6. Trevor Stephan, RHP
7. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP
8. Emmanuel Clase, RHP

Remainder of the 40-man:
Jason Delay

Angel Martinez, IF
Juan Brito, 2B

Jhonkensy Noel, RH
Yonathan Perlaza, RH
George Valera, LH
Johnathan Rodriguez, RH

Starting Pitchers:
Joey Cantillo, LHP
Hunter Gaddis, RHP
Daniel Espino, RHP
Ethan Hankins, RHP

Relief Pitchers:
Cade Smith, RHP
Tim Herrin, LHP
Xzavion Curry, RHP

General Comments: I’d REALLY like to see the team explore adding a player like Jack Flaherty on a one-year pillow deal, which would allow them to DFA or trade a Hunter Gaddis and start Logan Allen in Columbus. But, that seemed a bit ambitious for the roster I created here, so I didn’t do it... but I’d love it if Dolan and Antonetti/Chernoff did!

I’d like to note that I expect Franco Aleman to make an impact on the major league bullpen at some point, and I’m confident that we’ll see folks like Jake Fox, Dayan Frias and Angel Genao continue to add to the organizational middle-infield depth, despite my heartless trading of Rocchio and Tena. If I had a choice, I’d trade Arias and keep Rocchio, but I don’t think that’s the direction Cleveland will go, so I’m rooting for Arias to figure it out, and expecting that if he struggles, the team will promote Brito to play second-base and move Gimenez to shortstop. Also, I expect and hope that Valera will take Will Brennan’s spot on the roster by June, and Brennan can either slide over into Laureano’s role or spend some time in Columbus.

The payroll with the roster I’ve suggested comes out, by my estimates, to around $106M, which is an entirely reasonable increase from last season’s $93M, in my opinion, and ideally should leave them some space to negotiate extensions with folks like Josh Naylor, Steven Kwan, Bo Naylor, Triston McKenzie and MAYBE even Shane Bieber.

Now it’s up to you, dear reader! What’s your ideal yet realistic Guardians offseason plan for the coming months?