Anyone worried that the Guardians would wheel and deal their farm system ahead of the trade deadline yesterday can rest easy.
Daniel Espino, George Valera, Gavin Williams, Brayan Rocchio, and Bo Naylor are all still Guardians.
While the Guardians weren’t mute at the deadline, they were certainly quiet.
But now that the dust has settled on the trade deadline, let’s discuss moves the Guardians did make and what comes next.
So Long, Sandy
Cleveland made one move on Tuesday.
In an intradivisional trade with the Twins, the Guardians exchanged backup catcher Sandy Leon for reliever Ian Hamilton.
With just that sentence, you might think the Guardians come out winners in the trade.
Eh, sort of.
Hamilton sports a career 4.91 ERA.
And so far this season, Hamilton has made a single appearance for the Twins.
On June 3, Hamilton’s single appearance, he went for 2.2 innings and gave up two runs.
It’s not exactly the quality-depth option for a team in need of relief help down the stretch.
Leon, though, wasn’t a part of Cleveland’s plans at catcher, regardless.
In eight games, Leon batted .133 with two hits and four Ks.
If the Guardians can turn Hamilton into a decent reliever, then they’ll have won this trade by a country mile.
The club certainly has a history of developing pitchers.
Here’s to hoping Hamilton is Cleveland’s next rescue.
Our current MLB OF situation doesn’t make much sense to me.
We have Kwan pretty entrenched in LF, and Myles in CF. But we now have Oscar Gonzalez, Will Benson, and Nolan Jones all up together. I don’t get that one bit.
— La Mole (@FranmilsEyebrow) August 3, 2022
But did the Guardians do enough to stay competitive down the stretch?
Hopefully, though it is taking a huge risk on a young roster.
But that’s probably how the club prefers it, prioritizing younger players who are performing well over a veteran rental.
Manager Terry Francona said as much himself, according to Joe Noga of cleveland.com:
“Francona said with Gonzalez ready to return from the injured list, the club found it hard to send a younger player who was producing at the plate down to the minors.”
Oh, but isn’t getting Oscar Gonzalez back basically like bringing in a big trade piece?
Doesn’t feel like it?
Gonzalez was activated on Tuesday and saw his first professional action in 33 days.
He notched a hit in four plate appearances last night.
The Guardians will hope Gonzalez picks up where he left off prior to the injury.
The rookie right fielder was batting .285 with a .746 OPS when he went down in June.
Since then, the Guardians have tried just about everything to get their outfield going.
Steven Kwan has remained solid in left, but the other two spots were up in the air.
Myles Straw has been streaky, at best, this season.
And in right, a revolving door of rookies (including Nolan Jones, who actually played fairly well), tried to keep up the production while Gonzalez was out.
In Gonzalez, the Guardians have yet another young player who looks the part of a future everyday starter.
Planting a flag.
Oscar Gonzalez's true talent will be one of the most debated topics during the offseason.
And likely during this season.
— Jeff Zimmerman (@jeffwzimmerman) June 11, 2022
This season has been jam-packed with revelations like that.
Gonzalez, Kwan, Andrés Giménez, and Josh Naylor have all come on strong this season.
And on the mound, Triston McKenzie has shown flashes of excitement.
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