2. They should have shopped Shane Bieber more aggressively
There was a very real chance that Shane Bieber and not Aaron Civale would be the pitcher that the Cleveland Guardians moved at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, an ill-timed injury forced the front office to adjust their plans, sending Civale to the Rays in exchange for highly regarded first base prospect Kyle Manzardo. But the fact of the matter is that the Guardians should have been more active in trade talks involving Bieber.
At the time of Bieber's final start before landing on the injured list, the Guardians were 45-45 and were somehow half of a game ahead of the Minnesota Twins. Even though they held a slight lead in the division, it was very clear that this was not a good team. This was a club that hovered around .500 for a very long time and was seven games under at two different points before Bieber's injury. The front office should have recognized that even if they made the postseason they would not advance far, if at all.
There is something else to take into account when it comes to Bieber, his contract situation. Bieber will be entering his final arbitration eligible season next year. The potential return for Bieber via trade would be higher by selling a trade partner on the possibility of two postseason runs rather than only one. It is not likely that the Guardians will be able to extend Bieber's stay in Cleveland, and they should have been more aggresive on the trade market before and early in this season.