Eagle-eyed viewers may notice that something is off in regards to the Cleveland Guardians' uniforms this season.
If you tuned into any of these opening week games, you may have noticed that the Guardians' "Fastball G" or "Flying G" logo wasn't uniformly placed on the club's jersey. Well, that's by design. The powers that be within MLB have agreed to allow teams to add an advertisement/sponsor to team uniforms beginning this season.
Thus far, the Diamondback, Red Sox, Padres, Astros, Marlins, Reds, and Angels have all secured such a sponsorship for their uniforms, while a number of additional teams appear to be doing the same as the Guardians, moving existing patches to different sleeves in anticipation of an advertisement.
As a refresher for those who haven't been keeping up with this jersey news, the patches will be 4" x 4" in size. Pitchers and batters alike will have the ad patch placed on the sleeve that maximizes exposure for TV broadcasts. For example, right-handed pitchers and hitters will see the patch on their left sleeve, while left-handed pitchers and hitters will have the patch on their right sleeve. Some teams are even providing switch-hitters with two sets of uniforms and will wear the corresponding jersey based on the starting pitching matchup.
What does this mean for the Guardians? For the time being, it means you'll get images like the one above, where the logo patch is on various sleeves. But in the long run, the ads are expected to bring in additional, all-important revenue to clubs. Financial details have been sparse thus far, but the Marlins and ADT agreement is expected to net the team $5 million each season for the next three years. Though that patch is an eyesore, some teams like the Reds and Angels have done a decent job finding sponsors whose color palette matches that of the team.
We should know soon enough which corporation the Guardians settle on for the jersey ad. There is no shortage of prominent organizations in and around the region that could see their logo on the field soon. But for my money, the Guardians should really consider doubling down on the new name and secure a deal with Marvel. With the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie on the horizon, it would lend itself perfectly to some wild promotional opportunities. I'm only kidding - I'm only like 40% serious on that idea.