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News and Notes: Mike Chernoff Talks Solving Problems with Guardians’ Offense

News and Notes for Monday, November 20th, 2023

Texas Rangers v Cleveland Indians

Mike Chernoff did a brief interview at the GM’s meetings with FanGraphs’ David Laurila.

Some notable quotes:

“We just didn’t perform as well offensively. So we don’t feel like wholesale changes are necessary. We feel like we have a really strong foundation off of which to continue building, but we also don’t have a lot of room for error as a small-market team.”

Would Chernoff be honest if the Front Office thought the offense needed a total overhaul? No, probably not. But, I’m not sure I agree that there is a really strong foundation. Maybe a solid foundation in need of a couple 20 homer bricks.

“We’re not looking, necessarily, to just build a contact-oriented team. Ideally, we’d like to develop power. We traded for Kyle Manzardo, who’s got a ton of power. We recently drafted Chase DeLauter, who’s got a ton of power. We just added Johnathan Rodriguez to our [40-man] roster and he’s got a ton of power. We’re hopeful that we’re going to have a balanced team over time.”

I think this is a better quote. I find it a positive sign for Johnny Rodriguez that he was mentioned by Chernoff, here. Hopefully, that means the Front Office seems him as a future, legitimate major league hitter.

Terry Pluto of Cleveland dot com reported a quote from Chris Antonetti, admitting that the trade of Cal Quantrill enabled the team to trade Enyel De Los Santos for Scott Barlow because of the money they saved dealing Quantrill for a low-A catcher.

I have lingering questions: 1. Barlow looks like a win-now move, since he’s only under control for one season. Does that mean the front office is determined to make another win-now trade that doesn’t add much to the payroll, unloads significant prospect depth, and pushes some chips in? Because it sure doesn’t sound like they’ve got any money to spend in free agency. 2. Do they really think it’s easier to develop a 5th starter out of the options they have than an 8th inning guy out of the options they have? Because I like Cade Smith, Tim Herrin, Cody Morris and Franco Aleman as relievers much better than I like Xzavion Curry, Joey Cantillo and Hunter Gaddis as 5th starters, at least at the current moment in their developments.

I’d expect we will see at least a couple moves around MLB over the next few days leading up to a Thanksgiving break. The Guardians should announce the rest of Stephen Vogt’s coaching staff this week, maybe as early as today.

Other than that, there wasn’t much to note from a quiet Sunday around baseball. Enjoy a victory Monday, over the hated rival, Browns fans!