Why did the Cleveland Guardians stand pat at the trade deadline?
Prior to Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline, it seemed almost inconceivable that the Cleveland Guardians would stand pat and essentially do nothing while entering the day just one game behind the lead for the AL Central.
But that’s exactly what happened (unless you want to count a trade with the Twins for reliever Ian Hamilton).
So now the question is: Why?
The easiest answer is that many teams likely had asking prices that were too exorbitant for Cleveland’s tastes. Guys like Sean Murphy, J.D. Martinez, Ian Happ and Willson Contreras weren’t even traded despite the overwhelming assumption those were deals that would happen. More teams simply seemed willing to punt to the offseason and figure it out from there.
Why Did the Guardians Stand Pat With Another Roster Crunch on the Way?
The Guardians seem willing to sort out their impending roster crunch in the offseason as well.
And most importantly, in terms of the here and now and this season’s postseason chase, Guardians president Chris Antonetti described the balancing act of acquiring players versus trying not to disrupt the chemistry of the current roster and its overall development. Despite there being some opportunities out there to acquire players, the Guardians as an organization felt it was best to stay the course for this season.
It’s a point that can be argued until we’re all blue in the face – especially when it came to getting some impactful bullpen help down the stretch – but the fact remains this is the youngest team in baseball that looks to be years ahead of where the team predicted it would be. There will be plenty of roster decisions to be made after the season ends, but playing out the year like this will give the organization as much knowledge and insight as possible to make the right moves.
It’s a bit of a painful pill to swallow for fans who wanted the Guardians to make a Juan Soto-sized splash – and they did inquire about him to the Nationals – but a quiet deadline like this might be the move that helps the Guardians continue to stay in contention for years to come while once again avoiding the pain of an ongoing rebuild.
As long as Cleveland continues to be aggressive in calling up the youngsters to make their mark, it’ll be easier to live with a quiet trade deadline.