Cleveland Guardians trade Konnor Pilkington to Arizona, promote David Fry

Colorado Rockies v Cleveland Guardians
Colorado Rockies v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians shook up their roster a bit before the beginning of their three-game series with the New York Yankees. First, the team traded left-handed reliever Konnor Pilkington to the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash considerations totalling $100,000. Pilkington, who was acquired by the Guardians in 2021 from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Cesar Hernandez, was designated for assignment last week to make room on the 40-man roster for Tanner Bibee.

David Fry, a 27-year old catcher who has been with Cleveland’s organization since last year, has also been promoted to the major league roster. When he plays, Fry will make his major league debut. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club has also designated catcher Meibrys Viloria for assignment, effectively ending his time in Cleveland.

The Guardians, who are still waiting to promote top prospect Bo Naylor, are sticking with the three-catcher plan, sliding in Fry behind starter Mike Zunino and Cam Gallagher. Fry, who was a seventh-round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018, came to the Guardians as the player to be named later, completing the trade that sent J.C. Mejia to the Brewers. He has a career .266/.347/.464 slashline in the minor leagues and is slashing .289/.381/.478 this year through 25 games in Columbus.

Pilkington appeared in 15 games last year for Cleveland, finishing the season with a 1-2 record and a 3.88 ERA. He began this year with Triple-A Columbus before being recalled last week for one appearance against the Colorado Rockies. Pilkington, though, quickly became obsolete after the debuts of Bibee and Logan Allen, clogging up the starting rotation. 

Viloria’s time in Cleveland was short-lived. After signing to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training in December, Viloria broke camp with the team and acted as their third catcher. He appeared in just 10 games, mainly as a substitute for Gallagher or Zunino once they were pulled for a bat off the bench. Through three at bats, he didn’t record a hit and walked once.