The Cleveland Guardians are hanging in there when it comes to the AL Central race, and they figure to be buyers at the trade deadline - at least in some capacity.
It's doubtful the team makes a huge splash, which isn't always easy to do at the trade deadline anyway, but there are plenty of names out there that do make sense for the Guardians. While some starting pitching help would certainly be appreciated, the more pressing need might come in the outfield, given that right field is essentially a black hole right now for Cleveland.
That being said, MLB.com released a list of 17 players likely to be traded before this year's deadline, and Colorado's Randal Grichuk made the list, with the Guardians being a potential suitor.
The 31-year-old Grichuk (he turns 32 in August) is in the final year of a five-year, $52 million deal and he's hitting well, so you know the Rockies would love to get something in return for him. In 246 plate appearances this season, the right-handed Grichuk is slashing .313/.370/.487 with six home runs, 19 doubles, 25 RBI, and a 120 OPS+, which essentially makes this one of his best offensive seasons despite the limited at-bats.
Grichuk's stat line is supported by a solid xBA of .274, with the rest of his expected numbers in line with his career averages for the most part. Though he's hitting over .300 this season, his career averages fall to .251/.298/.467; that being said, Grichuk provides plenty of power in his bat, which the Guardians still so desperately need.
Grichuk missed time to start the season recovering from sports hernia surgery, making his debut at the very end of April, and he missed some time due to a groin issue, but he's been solid when healthy, and in July, he's really turned it on to the tune of a .386 average with four home runs and seven RBI in 44 at-bats.
How Would Randal Grichuk Fit in Cleveland?
Since he's a free agent at the end of the season, Grichuk would serve as an ideal rental bat down the stretch for the Guardians. I know what you're thinking, though - what about the Coors Field effect? Sure, he's hitting a robust .337/.395/.519 at home this season, but he's no slouch on the road, hitting .294 with more home runs and more RBI away from Colorado.
The Guardians have been recent trade partners with the Rockies (don't look at Nolan Jones' numbers this year), so there's already a relationship there. Grichuk doesn't solve any issues beyond 2023, but he'd be a solid pick-up for Cleveland as they make a run at the AL Central.