Don't expect Guardians to increase payroll

Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels
Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

Cue the chorus of Dolans Cheap from the online catacombs that internet trolls everywhere call home.

The Cleveland Guardians are not expected to have a higher team salary for the upcoming 2024 season. An anonymous source told The Athletic's Zack Meisel that the Guardians payroll is expected to be very similar to that of 2023. While additional funds could become available to the Guardians if they have a better idea of where their television revenue stands, it more than likely will not result in any additions of note being made. 

" As the Guardians gain more clarity on their broadcasting outlook, they might have slightly more wiggle room for marginal upgrades, but nothing substantial, sources said."

Zack Meisel

It is truly unfortunate how much of a stranglehold the Guardians' television deal has on their ability to improve their roster. What is frustrating about this situation is that Cleveland was not all that likely to make an impact addition if the money owed to them by the soon-to-be-defunct Diamond-owned Bally Sports, but now it appears that the Guardians are more likely to be removing from rather than adding to their payroll when the latter is what is absolutely necessary at the current time.

The issue is not just the current lack of clarity regarding their broadcasting agreement. It is the risk-averse nature that this ballclub has operated with for quite some time. Making that more difficult is the attempts to thread the needle between competing for postseason play and having a payroll that does not break the bank. While they have been able to get a lot of juice out of the orange that has been squeezed over and over again, it has resulted in the organization being stuck. There are too many holes on the roster to be genuinely competitive outside of the terrible American League Central division while still having too much talent to bottom out and reset the franchise.

There is an obvious area in need of improvement on this Guardians roster, but it does not appear that they are going to come out of the Winter Meetings with the addition they truly need. A remote possibility exists that they somehow find a way to bolster their lineup, but any sort of aggressive move to accomplish that does not seem all that likely at this time.