The Guardians traded right-handed reliever Enyel De Los Santos to the Padres for right-handed reliever Scott Barlow. Barlow will be 31 in 2023 and De Los Santos will be 28, with Barlow expected to make about $6 million more than De Los Santos will this coming season.
So, why the move? For his career, Barlow has a 3.29 FIP with a 10.65/3.61 K/BB/9 and Steamer projects him for 3.98 FIP and 9.67/3.58 K/BB/9. De Los Santos, meanwhile, has a career 3.92 FIP with 9.52/3.56 K/BB/9 and Steamer projects him for 4.17 FIP and 9.53/3.68 K/BB/9. So, from career history, Barlow is a better bet to get the Guardians a strikeout when needed than De Los Santos has been, and his projected numbers look slightly better in every category. Also, if you go to Barlow’s 2023 Baseball Savant page and compare with 2023 De Los Santos’s, you’ll see some pretty large gaps in underlying metrics, particularly in Barlow’s ability to miss barrels (92nd percentile to De Los Santos’s 43rd percentile).
My only concern with the move is Barlow’s 2 mph decline in average velocity over the past two seasons, but it is hard to argue with Cleveland’s pitching evaluation process. One interesting thing I’ve found about Barlow is that he has at some points lived in a camper with his wife during the baseball season. He and his wife love dogs, so they seem like good people to me!
I will miss Enyel De Los Santos, who seemed like a good guy, and always remember his winter training video of throwing a baseball over herds of cattle. His wife also seems to be mourning their move from Cleveland on Twitter, but I am sure the San Diego weather will help take the sting out of the move.
The Guardians also traded Cal Quantrill to the Rockies for Single-A cathcer Kody Huff, who had a 104 wRC+ and excellent defensive numbers as a 22 year-old last season. It’s not much, but it’s something.
The Guardians traded Cal Quantrill to the Rockies for Kody Huff, a 22-year-old catcher who spent last season in A-ball.— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) November 17, 2023
I’ll miss Quantrill who was always good for a kind and straightforward postgame interview, known as a clubhouse leader, and routinely managed to outperform his expected numbers. I wish him the best in Colorado which doesn’t seem like a great fit, but we’ll see.
The Guardians tendered contracts to all their arbitration-eligible players and reached a deal with Ramon Laureano, reportedly for $5.1 million dollars.
Guardians avoid arbitratrion with Ramon Laureano, signing him to a 1-year $5.15 million deal. He was projected to make $4.7 million. Offer all other arbo eligble players contracts.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) November 18, 2023
Laureano is average-slightly below average in centerfield, good in right-field and has a career 121 wRC+ against LHP. For a team that struggles against LHP, he’s a good 4th outfielder. I’d prefer he not become a starter without some sort of breakout, but we’ll see how the offseason goes from here. Laureano played with manager Stephen Vogt in Oakland, so he may also offer the rookie skipper some clubhouse cred. I appreciated that Laureano was sometimes the only player displaying visible emotion during disappointing games with the Guardians late last season - he seems like a highly competitive guy, which is needed.
It would seem the moves from yesterday would indicate the financial situation for the Guardians is not quite as severe as we might have feared after the Quantrill move. Let’s see how the offseason unfolds from here!
There were several other interesting non-tender moves in MLB yesterday, summarized below
Notable non-tenders: Kyle Lewis, Nick Senzel, Austin Meadows, Josh Staumont, Jacob Stallings, Rowdy Tellez, Brandon Woodruff, Luis Guillorme, Daniel Vogelbach, Lou Trivino, Tim Hill, Austin Nola, Thomas Szapucki, Andrew Knizner, Dakota Hudson, Matt Bush, Adam Cimber, Dom Smith— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 18, 2023