Guardians named as potential trade partner for Cubs star

San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs
San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

How the Cleveland Guardians plan to approach their trade deadline remains somewhat of a mystery. There are a few areas of obvious need on the roster, but how aggressive they will be in addressing them is the question. If Cleveland's front office truly believes that they are poised for a deep postseason run, one name in particular has been identified as a possible trade target for the Guardians. Cody Bellinger.

Appearing as one of the possible teams who could trade for Bellinger in Zachary D. Rymer's Cubs Star Cody Bellinger's Landing Spots amid MLB Trade Rumors on Bleacher Report are the Guardians. Cleveland is ranked as the ninth out of 10 teams on this list, just ahead of Bellinger's former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. As Rymer notes, Bellinger would be a clear offensive upgrade over what Cleveland has received so far this season. 

"Center field has only produced a .624 OPS for the Guardians, so Bellinger would constitute a major offensive upgrade. Yet even if there wasn't the payroll question, the fact would remain that they need arms much more than they need bats."

Zachary D. Rymer on the Guardians

The second part of Rymer's analysis situation here does deserve some attention here. Yes, there are concerns about whether or not Cleveland would be willing to take on the remainder of Bellinger's three-year $80 million deal he signed with the Cubs this past offseason, and that is before acknowledging a possible opt-out and player option for the third year. It is assessing the current state of the Guardians that may result in prioritizing other parts of the roster, that part being their starting rotation.

The Guardians rotation has been carried by Tanner Bibee and Ben Lively so far, with inconsistent outings from Triston McKenzie, Carlos Carrasco, and Logan Allen in between. Yes, Gavin Williams is set to make his season debut on Wednesday and they recently took a flier on Matthew Boyd, but that does not mean they should be willing to stand pat with this current group. Another addition is going to be required and the cost that will come with making that happen may very well take them out of the running for a bat of Bellinger's caliber. That is unless the Guardians could somehow manage to get a pitcher in the same deal for Bellinger, either one of Chicago's pitchers or an arm coming by way of another club in a multi-team deal. If the Guardians could somehow swing that, it would put them in prime position for an extended playoff run.