3 players the Cleveland Guardians should explore extending
The Cleveland Guardians exist this season in an interesting stage of development. Calling them a rebuilding team would undersell their productivity and long-term commitments to players like José Ramírez and Myles Straw. Tapping them as an AL Central contender would definitely be overlooking some major personnel flaws.
Regardless of the direction of the Guardians, one thing is certain: the front office has finally built a nucleus of young, controllable, versatile talent that could remain in Cleveland for the foreseeable future. Think 2013-2017, that core of players that led Cleveland to historic heights and a World Series. I see the infancy stages of another core like that on this team.
But to ensure a stretch like that happens again, Cleveland needs to open their pockets to prove they can open a winning window. Here are three Guardians players that should be next in line to receive a contract extension.
3 Cleveland Guardians players that could
Not only has Naylor come back with a world-burning fury following his gruesome leg injury, Naylor’s exploded into (arguably) Cleveland’s best and most fun hitter. From racing around first base for a hustle double, his long hair whipping around behind him, to the way he absolutely smashes balls en route to sabermetrics that place him in the top 10-15% of major-league hitters, it’s no doubt that Naylor is as dynamic as they come.
He’s making just $1.2 million during his age-25 season, and an extension could allow the Guardians to eat up his three arbitration years while locking him up even longer. Whether it’s first base, right and left field or at DH, it’s clear Naylor will always have a spot in the lineup, so there should be little concern about his role long-term.
Naylor has proven he can really thrive in Cleveland against American League pitchers, and during his third season with the club, he’s not even close to getting figured out. That ball is as big as it can get for him right now.