Cleveland Guardians: Cal Quantrill's arbitration salary played role in DFA decision

As usual, the Cleveland Guardians expect to operate with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, which played a role in the team designating Cal Quantrill for assignment.

Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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This probably won't come as a shock to Cleveland Guardians fans, but part of the decision to DFA pitcher Cal Quantrill on Tuesday came down to money.

President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti indicated that Quantrill's projected arbitration salary - around $6.6 million - didn't fit within the Guardians' payroll plans, as the team felt that money could be put to better use in other ways on the roster.

Antonetti also cited the current uncertainty around the team's local TV contract as a reason for Quantrill's DFA decision. As things currently stand, there's no guarantee that Bally Sports will even carry Guardians games next season, which would be a major blow to the team financially, as Bally's parent company Diamond Sports Group quite reluctantly paid the team $55 million in 2023.

In some attempt to defend Antonetti here, paying Quantrill $6 million is something of a big ask if there's a very good chance he'd be getting pushed out of the rotation at some point next season anyway. That being said, you can never assume the health of your starters is guaranteed, and the more depth you have the better, evidenced as recently as this past season. And the fact is, Quantrill is a true innings eater when healthy, and some other team will no doubt value that enough to pay him.

But all of this is hardly any excuse to esssentially stand pat this offseason. The Guardians, as usual, already boast one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, and there are so many opportunities to improve the team through reasonable free-agent deals this offseason. To do nothing would be such egregious malpractice, and there's no excuse in the world that would justify it.

If Antonetti is serious about trying to use some of that money elsewhere, let's see how it plays out. But don't expect much.