In a move that was as surprising as it was not, the Guardians last night traded Will Benson to the Reds in exchange for outfield prospect Justin Boyd and a player to be named later or cash.
We have traded OF Will Benson to the Reds for OF Justin Boyd and a player to be named later.— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) February 8, 2023
Will, thank you for being a class act on and off the field, and for making such a positive impact in our community. Good luck in Cincy. #ForTheLand pic.twitter.com/E5zvapGZci
It’s surprising because trading any 24-year-old with some upside after he barely scratched the majors seems wild. But it’s not surprising because of the Guardians’ current situation. Benson is one of many outfield prospects at or near the majors, and there’s a chance he might not have even made the team out of spring training. He would have to beat out some combination of Steven Kwan, Myles Straw, Oscar Gonzalez, Will Brennan, George Valera (soon) and hell I’ll even throw Richie Palacios in there.
The trade is the very definition of “kicking the can down the road.” Unlike the Nolan Jones trade earlier this offseason — which required immediately putting their new player, Juan Brito, on the 40-man roster — this one frees up a spot while grabbing another potential future player in Boyd.
We’ll have more on the trade, and Boyd in particular, coming soon, but the important things to know about him now are that he’s 21 years old, was just drafted last year in the second round, and has plenty of time left on his clock before he becomes Rule 5 eligible.
Cleveland Guardians news
Cleveland Guardians trade former 1st-round pick Will Benson to Cincinnati Reds for minor leaguer | WKYC
More context on the trade from WKYC.
Boyd, 21, led the Pac-12 with a .373 average at Oregon State before being selected by the Reds in July. He later batted .203 with six steals in 22 combined games in rookie ball and High-A Dayton, and was ranked as the 16th-best player in Cincinnati’s farm system.
Cincinnati Reds acquire OF Will Benson from Cleveland, DFA IF/OF Alejo Lopez | Red Reporter
Reds fans seem OK with the trade, if only because they didn’t have to give up a whole lot for a potential major-league outfielder.
Guardians, RHP Dusten Knight agree on minor league deal with spring training invite | Cleveland
The Guardians also made another small move last night by signing right-handed pitcher Dusten Knight to a minor-league deal and inviting him to spring training. Knight, 32, has pitched in the minor leagues since 2013 but only has 19.2 career innings in the majors. He’s had some high strikeouts totals in the past, but walk issues have prevented him from making a bigger impact.
Cleveland Guardians history: How they turned Jerry Dybzinski into Emmanuel Clase | Away Back Gone
This was a fun romp down memory lane as Anthony Alandt over at Away Back Gone traced the Emmanuel Clase trade tree all the way back to Jerry Dybzinski, who played in Cleveland in the early ‘80s. Dybzinski was traded to the White Sox to start a series of events that led to Emmanuel Clase throwing 100 mph cutters in Cleveland. History is a beautiful thing.
Around the league
- Ronald Acuña Jr. is playing in the WBC.
- Speaking of which, the WBC rosters are being announced tonight.
- The Angels would “like to keep” Shohei Ohtani.
- The Mariners aren’t ready to give up on Jarred Kelenic.
- The Yankees invited top prospect Jasson Domínguez to spring training.
- There are going to be a lot of home runs in Toronto.
- An early look at next year’s pitcher free agent market.