Guardians Bold Prediction Number Two: Kyle Manzardo makes everyone forget about Aaron Civale
Speaking of trade discussions between the Guardians and Rays, Cleveland acquired highly regarded first base prospect Kyle Manzardo in exchange for Aaron Civale once Shane Bieber was no longer an option to be dealt. This particular deal drew plenty of criticism from the fanbase, as many were completely delusional about the competitive state of the Guardians at the time, in addition to what the true value of Civale was. Civale is a mid-to-bottom of-the-rotation starter who was vastly overperforming his talent level prior to being traded, and his 5.36 ERA and 1.368 WHIP in 10 starts with the Rays (both career-worsts) were an indicator of that.
Manzardo is more than capable of being a middle-of-the-order impact bat that Cleveland desperately needs. The 23-year-old left-handed slugging first baseman was able to rebound after being acquired by Cleveland from a slow start in Triple-A and his shoulder injury, hitting eight doubles and six home runs in 21 games with the Columbus Clippers. Manzardo should be able to build upon the tail end of last year's Triple-A season and make everyone who complained about Civale being dealt forget about him entirely.