Cleveland Guardians news: Austin Hedges says leaving team 'feels like a breakup'
Austin Hedges will be donning a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform in 2023, but there are no hard feelings from the former Guardians catcher.
In a recent interview on The Chris Rose Rotation, Hedges explained that he got a call from Cleveland's front office, letting him know they were likely going in another direction at catcher this offseason. While he didn't know it was Mike Zunino they were targeting, Hedges went on to say he has a great deal of respect for the organization, even if parting ways with the team ultimately "feels like a breakup."
Hedges signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates this month, but it's clear Hedges not only respects the Guardians, but will genuinely miss his teammates and all of the relationships he forged over the past few seasons.
Baseball is, of course, a business, but the personal relationships and how they're affected by trades and free-agent signings is never really talked about. And in Hedges' case, he explained to Rose how once you leave a team, you might never talk to some of your former teammates ever again - just like a breakup.
Moving on to another team can spur a complex series of emotions we don't often consider. Hedges will certainly be missed in the Cleveland clubhouse, but who knows, there might come a day in the next few seasons where they'll need a new backup catcher, and it sure seems like Hedges wouldn't mind that happening.