Cleveland Guardians rumors: Cal Quantrill could be on the move

The Cleveland Guardians figure to be busy in the trade market this offseason, and Cal Quantrill could be the first player on the move.

Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians
Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

Though much of the focus has been on Shane Bieber and what the Cleveland Guardians will do with him, it looks like Cal Quantrill might be the starting pitcher who is on the move this offseason.

According to FanSided's MLB insider Robert Murray, the Guardians are looking to trade Quantrill this offseason, possibly flipping him in an Aaron Civale-esque move that might net the team a promising prospect of some kind.

Though he had a rough first half to the 2023 season and was hampered by injuries, Quantrill, 28, ended the season on a strong note, finishing with a 2.76 ERA in six September starts. And between 2021 and 2022, Quantrill was a very reliable arm for the Guardians, both out of the bullpen and in the starting rotation. In those two seasons, Quantrill sported a 3.16 ERA in 72 games (54 starts), with a 4.10 FIP and 127 ERA+.

Quantrill eventually entrenched himself as a member of the Guardians' starting rotation, but now might be the best time to move him. The Guardians now find themselves with a rotation chock-full of promising young pitchers, and there is no shortage of teams that would love a reliable arm like Quantrill in their own rotations.

Most importantly, Quantrill is also a controllable arm, with two more years of arbitration to go before becoming a free agent. That alone could help the Guardians net a decent prospect, maybe a bullpen arm, or possibly even some sort of potential outfield option.

If the Guardians Trade Quantrill, What Happens to Bieber?

With Cleveland potentially setting its sights on a Quantrill trade, there's a good chance the Guardians want to open the 2024 season with Shane Bieber in the rotation. It's a pretty tantalizing scenario to envision a rotation that features Bieber, Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, Logan Allen, and Triston McKenzie, clearly the strength of this team.

The Guardians figure to be pretty busy this offseason, doing everything they can to improve one of the most moribund offenses in baseball. Trading Quantrill figures to be a savvy move, but it's unclear what kind of current major-league talent Cleveland would get in return. It's worth a shot, though.