Could Myles Straw's time in a Cleveland Guardians uniform be coming to an end?
On the surface, it does not seem all that likely. Straw is under contract for three more years with $18.7 million due to him along with way. After that, there are two club option years for $8 and $8.5 million that the Guardians are more than likely going to decline in 2027 and 2028, respectively. One would assume that Straw is likely to remain with the organization until that time, but a couple of recent transactions could result in those plans changing sooner rather than later.
Cleveland recently designated for assignment and subsequently traded Cal Quantrill to the Colorado Rockies. Quantrill's expected salary through arbitration, combined with the uncertainty of the Guardians' television deal, were cited as reasons why they moved on from the 28-year-old veteran. With the current set of circumstances, it is easy to see why the Guardians have decided to go down this specific path. But there are two other moves that could indicate a change coming to Cleveland.
The Guardians and Ramon Laureano agreed to a deal that will pay the veteran outfield just over $5 million this season. This accounts for most of the $6.6 million Quantrill was expected to make this season, but it does not stop there.
A win-now type deal was just made that saw Cleveland trade Enyel De Los Santos to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Scott Barlow. What needs to be considered with this transaction is the additional salary Cleveland is taking on. Barlow's projected $7.2 million is considerably higher than the $1 million of De Los Santos.
Again, looking at it through the perspective of what motivated the team to move Quantrill, the Guardians have now added more financial commitments to account for. With that in mind, it is easy to envision the team parting ways with someone to make their recent moves more reasonable from a payroll standpoint and allow flexibility for more prominent additions through free agency. Essentially, moving Straw seems like a no-brainer for this organization.
What it comes down to is the Guardians needing to add power to their lineup, specifically the outfield. This is a group that does not feature nearly enough home run power, an area that can be addressed this winter through free agency and trades. Steven Kwan is an everyday lineup lock, while Will Brennan and Laureano should see their fair share of action. This leaves a spot for the Guardians to try and some power to their outfield. That also puts someone like Straw on the outside looking in.
Running it back with Kwan, Laureano, Brennan, and Straw with a minor league option also in the mix is simply unacceptable. There needs to be an established major league outfielder who has shown to be a somewhat consistent power threat added to their roster. There are plenty of options expected to be available that Cleveland should explore thoroughly.
It is not a single thing that points toward Straw not being on the roster on Opening Day, as it is the combination of several that indicate a move could be made. With that being said, it would also be hardly surprising to see this front office bring the band back together and finish with an embarrassing home run output yet again.