A look at the Cleveland Guardians' newly acquired outfielder Estevan Florial

The Cleveland Guardians picked up Estevan Florial from the New York Yankees, but where does he fit into the team's outfield plans moving forward?

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Yankees
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Yankees / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians got busy the day after Christmas, trading pitcher Cody Morris to the New York Yankees for outfielder Estevan Florial.

Florial, 26, spent 101 games in the minors last season, putting together a solid .284/.380/.565 with 28 home runs, 23 doubles, 79 RBI, and 25 stolen bases. The issue for Florial is that with the very limited time he's had in the majors, he hasn't done too much with it. The biggest issue so far in his young major-league career is striking out; Florial has maintained nearly a 31% strikeout rate in his 134 plate appearances over four seasons (see, we told you his playing time was limited).

So Why Did the Guardians Trade for Estevan Florial?

There was a time when Florial was quickly ascending the game's overall prospect rankings, getting some recognition as a top-50 prospect before the 2018 season. He's had his ups and downs since then, but it really seemed like Florial started to put things together this past year, at least at the minor-league level.

But this trade fits the team's current direction. The Guardians' offseason to this point has been a series of lottery tickets, from acquiring Deyvison De Los Santos in the Rule 5 draft to now trading for Florial. Thinking back to the season, acquiring Khalil Watson at the deadline is essentially the same type of move.

One would think Cleveland is intent on giving Florial a real shot at major-league playing time, which continues to muddy the waters of Cleveland's outfield situation, still a complete mess overall aside from Steven Kwan and his golden glove locking down left field. Florial can play all over the outfield, but is primarily a center fielder, which puts a big question mark next to Myles Straw's future with the organization.

Given what the Guardians already know about Straw, why not see if Florial can finally tap into that potential? And if Cleveland can find a potential outfield piece without having to trade the likes of Shane Bieber or Emmanuel Clase to do it, even better.