Guardians get outfield help in mock trade proposal

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians
Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians' lack of production from the outfield has been a major talking point for quite some time. That is why it is not exactly a surprise to see a trade proposal that would address this very area.

Appearing in Bleacher Report's Realistic MLB Trades That Could Happen In 2023-24 Offseason by Zachary D. Rymer, the Guardians agree to a deal that would send Shane Bieber to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Alex Verdugo and Wilyer Abreu. Rymer would note that Cleveland's rookie trio of Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, and Gavin Williams make it a bit easier to part ways with Bieber. Meanwhile, Verdugo is a proven consistent bat, while Abreu is Boston's 17th-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline who could be welcome additions to their lineup as soon as Opening Day 2024.

"In this swap of post-2024 free agents, the Red Sox would get their reliable starter and the Guardians would get immediate help for right field in Verdugo and something of a wild card in Abreu. He's not a blue-chip prospect, but he hit well at both Triple-A and MLB this year."

Zachary D. Rymer on mock deal

This is a pretty convincing case. Cleveland needs help in the outfield as they do not have anyone worth being an everyday starter besides Steven Kwan. Verdugo's addition to the lineup would boost their offensive floor in the short term while keeping the door open for one of their own prospects to possibly take over down the line.

Abreu's inclusion would be another outfield option for Cleveland in case any of their more advanced prospects do not work out. There are concerns about George Valera's ability to stay healthy, in addition to his noted struggles in Triple-A this past season. And while Johnathan Rodriguez hit plenty of tape measure shots in the minors last year, his high strikeout rate (32.7%) is concerning and part of the reason why he is Cleveland's 24th overall prospect.

While a deal resembling this one may not happen, expect plenty of trade rumors around Bieber this offseason. There has been plenty of speculation that the Guardians could move the former Cy Young Award winner, as it feels like it is a question of when and not if Cleveland trades Bieber.