Is Gabriel Arias' time with the Cleveland Guardians nearing an end?

Cleveland Guardians v Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Guardians v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

The calendar has turned over to June, and with it, the Cleveland Guardians have begun the process of cutting ties with unproductive players. Cleveland has already decided that Ramon Laureano and Estevan Florial are not worthy of holding onto spots on the major league roster, designating both players for assignment within the past two weeks. These were moves that were absolutely necessary and could be an indicator of a future move with another unproductive player in Gabriel Arias.

The 24-year-old has been a massive disappointment thus far in his major league career. His performance at the plate is well below average, in addition to showing a complete lack of effort at times, which is certainly a massive red flag. These two factors combined are more than enough to validate removing him from the Guardians' major league roster, but would they actually do it?

Arias has seen a healthy amount of playing time over the last month, appearing in 20 of 29 games since May 1st. The almost everyday deployment of Arias during this time may appear as a sign of belief in his abilities and desire to have him in the lineup, but there could be something else at play here. There are times when a team realizes they have someone who is underperforming and not living up to expectations, and they will give them every opportunity to essentially play themselves off the roster. Considering that Arias' batting average has dropped nearly 50 points, and slugging nearly 90 points since the beginning of this span, this could very well be in play here. Arias is being given ample opportunities to prove himself and simply has not been able to, meaning a much overdue move could be on the way sooner rather than later.

Some are fearful that if the Guardians move on from Arias, he is going to be the next Yandy Diaz. Well, that is extremely unlikely to happen. Diaz had a track record of hitting in the minors and was able to show signs of being a potential impact bat in the majors with a few alterations to his swing, neither apply to Arias. Even though some like to point out that Arias can hit the ball hard, that is not all that matters in a hitting profile. Diaz has a career strikeout rate of 14.8% and has never struck out more than 20% in the major leagues. Meanwhile, Arias strikes out nearly 32% of the time in his career and almost 38% since May 1st. Aside from being a non-everyday player in Cleveland, Arias and Diaz have almost nothing in common.

While there is not necessarily any need to make a decision on Arias at this time, it feels like one is going to come soon. The Guardians have shown their willingness to move on from unproductive players already, and that should continue as the season progresses. If Arias continues to be a complete non-factor at the plate, it would not be surprising to see Arias be the next player the Guardians decide to move on from.