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One more sleep until Opening Day

Cleveland Guardians news and notes for Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

... well one sleep unless you count the afternoon power nap to ensure you can stay up until 1 a.m. to watch the whole game.

Yes, There will be real baseball that counts tomorrow if you can believe it. And on the eve of that great day, the Guardians have given us something fun to dream about: Andrés Giménez in Cleveland until at least 2030.

When it’s made official, yesterday’s seven-year, $106.5 million deal will be the largest pre-arbitration contract ever for a second baseman, and it’ll be the second largest contract the Guardians have ever given out, right behind the one they gave José Ramírez last year. Both are extremely team-friendly deals if they pan out, and both come with the kind of risk a billion-dollar franchise should be taking.

Ramírez’s contract runs well into his 30s, where players typically decline, and there’s always a chance that Giménez’s 2022 season can never be replicated. But again, these are risks a team like the Guardians should be taking with the kind of players that they know Ramírez and Giménez can be — especially at such deep discounts. The benefits of potentially having two All-Stars under contract for the next seven years vastly outweigh the concern that a baseball team might lose some money. They have the core of their infield locked up for almost a decade, and it feels damn good.

It should also be noted, as always, that this deal is not official until Giménez passes a physical, and we will only know for sure when the Guards announce it themselves. Hopefully that announcement will also clear up exactly when Giménez’s extension begins. Jeff Passan reported that it starts next year with a club option for 2031, while Ken Rosenthal stated it starts this season with an option for 2030. Potentially getting an extra free-agent year would be a pretty big deal, so let’s hope Passan is right on this one.

Don’t rest quite yet, though, because there might be more coming. There have been rumblings that Trevor Stephan is the next to earn a payday. It’s probably safe to use Emmanuel Clase’s five-year, $20 million deal (which includes two club options) as a ceiling for Stephan, which means the Guardians could also have their two best relievers locked up for several years.

It’s a good day/season/decade to be a Guards fan.

Guardians 1, Diamondbacks 3

Box Score
There it is, the final spring game of the year. The Guardians wrapped up with another loss, ending their spring campaign at 12-16 with no more injuries. Cal Quantrill allowed one run over 4.2 innings with three strikeouts.

Today’s baseball: Scheduled off-day
Tomorrow’s baseball: @ Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET (Bieber vs. Castillo)

Cleveland Guardians news

Injuries & Moves: Curry cracks Opening Day roster | MLB
It’s next man up for the Guardians pitching staff, as it was revealed Monday night that Triston McKenzie would miss upwards of two months with a shoulder strain. Hunter Gaddis is scheduled to take his place in the rotation for now, and Xzavion Curry will take over Gaddis’s spot in the bullpen.

Good blend of the old and young: Guardians’ 2023 coaching staff preview | Cleveland
An overview of all the coaches who try — and probably fail — to convince Tito to bat Giménez second over Amed Rosario.

The Guardians know their brand of baseball can be demanding — and they’re fine with that | Akron Beacon Journal
A disgusting brand of baseball, if you will.

The Guardians led the majors last year with a pitch contact rate of 80.8 percent. No team was within two percentage points. The difference between the Guardians and second-place Houston was more than the difference between second place and 15th place.

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