6 starting pitchers the Cleveland Guardians should target ahead of the Trade Deadline

Philadelphia Phillies v Cleveland Guardians
Philadelphia Phillies v Cleveland Guardians / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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2. Yusei Kikuchi - Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays appear to be a team destined to sell at the deadline, and they also happen to have a starting pitcher who will be a free agent at the end of the season that should be on the radar of the Cleveland Guardians. Yusei Kikuchi.

The 33-year-old Kikuchi has never been a dominant arm in his career, sporting a 4.61 ERA and 1.374 WHIP in his six seasons in Major League Baseball. There has been one aspect of his game that has been intriguing since his second year, strikeouts per nine. Dating back to 2020, Kikuchi is averaging 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings, and that is something that is always in demand from a pitcher. Being able to strike out opposing batters will never go out of fashion and would be a welcome addition to the current group of Guardians starters.

Even though Kikuchi is not the most talented starting pitcher available, that does not mean he would not be able to be a positive acquisition for the Guardians. Kikuchi would help elevate the floor of the staff and be a way to ensure some level of stability in the middle of their rotation in the event that Triston McKenzie and/or Logan Allen are unable to fix their issues in Triple-A.