Cleveland Guardians: 7 players who will be part of the next core

Josh Naylor #22 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Josh Naylor #22 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Myles Straw, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Guardians
Myles Straw #7 of the Cleveland Indians / Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

First Core Player for the Cleveland Guardians; Myles Straw – OF

On July 30 of this season the Indians sent struggling reliever Phil Maton and minor league catcher Yainer Diaz to the Houston Astros for center fielder Myles Straw. Straw debuted in 2018 with the Astros and was used sparingly in parts of three seasons in Houston thanks to an overly crowded outfield.

The Astros lost center fielder George Springer in free agency to Toronto after the 2020 season so Straw stepped in as the near every day center fielder in Houston, making it even more bizarre he would be traded to Cleveland, but a gift is a gift.

Straw will turn 27 in October and is under team control until 2026, something Cleveland has very obviously targeted in recent deals. On the season Straw is slashing .267/.339/.348 between the Astros and Indians, but in just 29 games in a Cleveland jersey he’s slashing .281/.341/.405, matching his total home runs in Houston with two and nearly matching his 13 doubles in Houston with nine thus far.

Defensively, Straw is a revelation for the Indians, having committed just a single error in his 179 game career so far, and he’s incredibly fun to watch roam the outfield laying out like Superman. All of this translates to a 2.3 WAR on the season, tied for fifth on the team with Emmanuel Clase.

For the cost of a struggling reliver and some minor league catching depth Cleveland has acquired their leadoff hitter of the future who just happens to also be a Gold Glove caliber center fielder. Seriously, this was a steal. Straw is a career .260 hitter with easy 20+ steal speed, and I’m still baffled that Houston parted with him this season. Look forward to Straw patrolling center for the Guardians for the next several years.