5. Andy Pages - OF, Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers are currently hurting for venerable starting pitching. Julio Urias, Dustin May, and Walker Buehler are all out of the Dodgers starting rotation.
Injuries on a contending team are nightmare fuel for any front office, and the Dodgers are no exception. Although the NL West is fairly competitive, they are still very much in a position to win a pennant, and a veteran like Shane Bieber would help steady the helm through the storm. The Guardians need outfield power, and LA has just the right guy: Andy Pages.
Pages is the #6 ranked prospect in the Dodgers farm system, and so far he looks to be the real deal. In the 2023 Double-A season at Tulsa he is batting .277/.425/.482. That's good for an OPS of .907 across 31 hits, 12 doubles and three dingers over 34 games and 112 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 16th and had three at-bats that night, but was placed on the seven-day injured list the following day.
Pages is most likely ready to play everyday at the highest level, but it's hard to make that assessment and be certain without at least a decent sampling of his performance in Oklahoma City. It will be curious to see how he recovers and performs, as that may influence what LA's front office decides to do with him in the long term.
Here's Andy Pages destroying baseballs:
Andy boasts a pretty solid combination of power and above average defense. A player comparison that comes to mind is a young Hunter Renfroe - power and a howitzer for an arm. He won't win any gold gloves, but he will give you a good amount of assists from the corner outfield. The Dodgers outfield is currently shored up by Chris Taylor, Mookie Betts, and James Outman. There's no guarantee that the Dodgers believe Pages can help them this year, but that doesn't mean he can't help someone else both now and in the future.
Again, Bieber is the main offering in this trade from Cleveland in exchange for Pages, but this deal is not a candidate for a straight up swap. The Guardians would need to give up returned control for what they would be acquiring in Pages. Cleveland would also seek additional lower tier arms to bolster Low-A and High-A rotation depth. LA will likely ask for return middle infield depth.
The deal looks something like this: Cleveland sends Shane Bieber, and one of Brayan Rocchio or Angel Martinez in exchange for Andy Pages, Emmet Sheehan and Maddux Bruns.
All of these trades make the Guardians younger at their core, and none of the aforementioned players are lightweight capital to acquire by any means. Perhaps the Guardians front office believes that their true contention window begins starting in 2024, and that the current conundrum is a storm to be weathered to aid in player development. If so, any one of these trades would be solid additions that bolster that window and fill the desperate need for spark that the Guardians brand of baseball needs.
Power isn't everything, but it sure can help when things starts to feel desperate. That feeling of desperation is far too familiar for the Guardians in 2022 thus far, and it's time for Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff to reap the rewards of their diligence in developing such a rich farm system.