Outlook for the Guardians Bullpen in 2023
Because of the inconsistencies year-to-year with relievers and bullpens, look for Cleveland GM Mike Chernoff to continue to add arms as bullpen options in 2022. The only regular contributor to the 2022 unit who is not back is Bryan Shaw, who was outrighted in September, but opted to remain with the team throughout their playoff run. It is unlikely that at 36 years old he will be brought back.
It is also highly unlikely that the Guardians will be active in adding bullpen arms via free agency this year. Rather, look for them to bring back a group that looks very similar to the bullpen they used throughout the second half of 2022 and the playoffs. Then, they will add from within as injuries occur and struggles necessitate reinforcements. They have a number of young starters who are close to being major-league ready and not all will fit into the rotation. Righties Daniel Espino, Tanner Bibee, Xzavion Curry, Cody Morris, Tanner Burns and left-handers Logan Allen and Joey Cantillo could fill a significant role out of the bullpen in 2023 if circumstances break right.
Overall, this is a deep, young, talented group. The sheer volume of arms that they have from both the right and left side provide insurance for injuries and inevitable struggles. Look for the Guardians bullpen to be a significant strength for them again in 2023.