The dust has finally settled after a series of events that very few saw coming. A few days after designating Cal Quantrill for assignment, the Cleveland Guardians have agreed to a deal that will send him to the Colorado Rockies. Coming back to Cleveland in the deal is 22-year-old catching prospect Kody Huff.
Huff is mostly known for his defensive skills but still managed to slash .262/.357/.374 with 14 doubles and five home runs with 36 RBIs last year in 86 games for the Fresno Grizzlies, Colorado's Single-A affiliate. The Scottsdale native spent three years at Stanford before being drafted in the seventh round of the 2022 June Amateur Draft by the Rockies.
There were a few things that played into Cleveland's decision to move on from Quantrill, the first being the state of the Guardians' pitching rotation. Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, and Logan Allen can be counted on to be Cleveland's rotation come Opening Day 2024.
The next thing to consider would be Quantrill's performance. A solid but unspectacular option, Quantrill simply does not have enough swing and miss in his repertoire to warrant any futher occupation in Cleveland's rotation over any of the names listed above.
Last, and most likely the most discussed aspect of this decision, would be the financial angle. Quantrill is projected to make around $6.6 million through arbitration, and for someone who does not have a spot in their rotation with a pitch mix that is not up to the level of those in it, being the odd man out was always going to be a very likely conclusion.
Unfortunately, the discussion about the financial decision to move on from Quantrill does end here. There is a level of uncertainty regarding the Guardian's television deal, an agreement which pays the team $55 million per season. With that in doubt, it became difficult to justify paying a 28-year-old sixth starter at-best pitcher the money he was owed.
The belief is that the organization will attempt to use the money previously earmarked for Quantrill for other areas of their roster. Now that they are no longer on the hook for Quantrill's arbitration salary, the organization will be free to spend that money elsewhere. But there is plenty of well-deserved skepticism about whether or not they will actually spend that money. This theme will continue until the Guardians defy expectations and use the money to make a notable addition to their major league roster.