Outside-the-box trade targets for the Cleveland Guardians

Chris Slocombe
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JUNE 11: Starting pitcher Frankie Montas #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches to Amed Rosario #1 of the Cleveland Guardians during the first inning at Progressive Field on June 11, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JUNE 11: Starting pitcher Frankie Montas #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches to Amed Rosario #1 of the Cleveland Guardians during the first inning at Progressive Field on June 11, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Guardians could very well be active no matter what during this year’s trade deadline, so here are a few outside-the-box targets.

A few days back, MLB.com put out an interesting piece, one in which they tasked the beat reporters of each team to come up with one trade candidate for each team. It’s an interesting read, and surely gets the trade juices flowing.

It also got me to thinking about some “outside the box” trade targets for our Cleveland Guardians.

Before the start of the season, I think most fans would have wanted the front office to add an outfielder. Well, Steven Kwan got off to his scorching hot start, then cooled, but recently is again showing why there was such hype for him heading into the season. Oscar Gonzalez has done nothing but hit since his call-up as well. Oh, and Richie Palacios is making folks take note, too.

Why do I mention the outfield? It was once deemed to be the glaring hole on this team, but at least for now it seems to have been somewhat solidified. However, this team is far from perfect – thus the aforementioned “outside the box” trade targets come to the forefront.

The Guardians have a number of players on the current roster who seemly don’t have a position moving forward (looking at you Amed Rosario and Nolan Jones), or are part of a deep position group (Gabriel Arias and Zach Plesac). With another impending 40-man roster crunch coming this offseason, this season’s trade deadline may not be a terrible time to look to make some room and acquire a piece that can contribute long-term.

With that thought in mind, let’s dive into this list.

Outside-the-box trade targets for the 2022 Cleveland Guardians

Right off the bat are the Toronto Blue Jays, and their glut of catching prospects: Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, and Gabriel Moreno (whom the Jays just called up). If the Guardians could add Kirk and his current .313/.394/.460 slash line, I’d gladly take it! What about calling our new favorite trade partners, the San Diego Padres? Catching prospect Luis Campusano is reportedly available as well.

Another group I wouldn’t be opposed to adding to is the starting rotation. Hello, Oakland? Frankie Montas would look nice with Cleveland across the front of his jersey. Same goes for Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Castillo. Both Montas and Castillo are 29 years old and come with 1.5 years of team control. I’m typically not one to overpay for starting pitching, but if you could get either and not give up too much… well, then we are cooking with fire.

Lastly, let’s look at Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell. Adding Josh Bell would muddy up the current first base/DH situation for sure, as the Guardians currently employ the Miller/Naylor combo at first and, when healthy, Franmil Reyes is your DH.

Bell would provide the club with a reliable first baseman, but at the expense of getting Josh Naylor everyday playing time at the position, I’m not sure it’s something I would necessarily sacrifice. On the other hand, landing a young catcher (especially one with a bat like Kirk), or another pitching option – those are trades I would make.

The Guardians’ window for competing is opening, and I hope the front office looks at this season as an opportunity to kickstart that run.

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