The Cleveland Guardians could use some depth at the catcher position while they wait for a few top prospects to develop, so who is out there on the trade market?
Hello, ABG readers! For my maiden foray on the site I decided to take a look at a number of potential trade target candidates that our Cleveland Guardians could/should look into. Having a deep appreciation for those who don the Tools of Ignorance, the catcher position just seemed like a perfect fit.
Before we get started, let me also put out this caveat – this is by no means a complete list. The basis for inclusion on this list is three-fold:
- The player’s current club has a logjam of catchers on their current roster
- Said club also has a highly regarded catching prospect in their system who appears ready to contribute in 2022
- Said catcher has some level of controllability
Oh yeah, and all these players who made the list would likely look to start the season splitting time with incumbent Austin Hedges, but would certainly provide more than the current slate of recycled veterans available on the market. They’d also provide insurance should one of the Guardians’ top two catching prospects (Bo Naylor and Bryan Lavastida) fail to live up to expectations over the next three or four seasons.
So without further ado, let’s dive into this.
2022 Cleveland Guardians trade targets: Catcher edition
Danny Jensen or Reese McGuire (Toronto Blue Jays)
If the Guardians have a logjam at 2B/SS, just wait until you see what Toronto is dealing with at catcher. Not only do they have Jensen and McGuire, but they also have Alejandro Kirk and highly regarded prospect Gabriel Moreno, all of whom are currently on their 40-man roster. What they don’t have is the depth of pitching needed for a full season and deep playoff run. So as Terry Francona loves to say, “When you think you have enough pitching go out and get some more.”
Enter the Guardians. Last draft the team selected nineteen pitchers, the current depth chart has seven or eight legitimate starters, and the minor league affiliates (especially Columbus, Akron, and probably Lake County) should see a number of highly regarded prospects coming through this season.
Now I’m not suggesting the team trade away any top-level prospects; Jensen and McGuire both project more of a situation where they would be splitting time with Hedges. However, trading away a pitcher for back-of-the-rotation/bullpen depth would be something I’m sure the Blue Jays would consider.
Of the two, I would focus more on McGuire. The 2022 season will see him playing his age-27 season, making the league minimum. That’s followed by three more season of control with the current arbitration setup. Should anything go wrong with the development of our current catching prospects, McGuire could fill in nicely; for his career he has slashed .248/.297/.390.