Based on their performance, it is not a surprise to see the Cleveland Guardians ranked towards the bottom of Bleacher Report's end-of-season power rankings. Finishing with a record of 76-86 and finishing in a distant third place in the worst division in baseball led to their low ranking.
Coming in at 20th is Cleveland. Their ranking mirrors how they finished in the standings, as they are the third-lowest American League Central team, two spots behind the Detroit Tigers. Author Joel Reuter noted the high expectations for the Guardians before addressing how their offense struggled.
"However, an offense that ranked near the bottom of the league in OPS (.694, 27th), home runs (124, 30th) and runs scored (662, 27th) kept them from contending- Joel Reuter on the Cleveland Guardians
The Guardians have some major issues offensively, and their attempts at addressing them this past offseason were a failure. Compounding the issue is that there was not any increased power production from any of the players returning from 2022. A team can only be so successful without having enough players in the lineup who are capable of being a home run threat.
Another factor in their disappointing season was injuries to their pitching staff. The Guardians were without Triston McKenzie for the majority of the season, while an injury to Shane Bieber ahead of the trade deadline negatively impacted their chances of trading the former Cy Young Award winner. While the Guardians were able to see the emergence of three rookies, it is hard to depend on inexperienced pitchers as their primary arms in their rotation. With that being said, Cleveland appears to be in good shape in the future, with Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, and Logan Allen being the future of their pitching staff.
This is a team that should be better next season, but they are going to need improvements from multiple position players, not including Jose Ramirez, Josh Naylor, and Steven Kwan. The organization needs to find a genuine solution at shortstop, as what was seen in 2023 was far from acceptable. Additionally, the front office must go out and acquire proven players to add to this lineup and not let their previous mistakes result in shying away from being active in the free agent market. The Guardians are not too far from being a real contender, and they must make moves that reflect that.