Potential Guardians trade target may be on the move to NL Central

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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For the longest time, there has been one player who has been mentioned countless times as an ideal trade target for the Cleveland Guardians. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward. While there is an obvious fit in Cleveland, another team is vying for his services via trade.

According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and 93.7 FM The Fan's Paul Zeise, the Pirates are reportedly interested in acquiring Ward from Los Angeles. While this was initially framed as something that was in the works or even going to happen in the near future, that is apparently not the case. When asked whether or not Ward was on his way to Pittsburgh, FanSided's Robert Murray was tasked with being the bearer of bad news for Pirates fans. 

While nothing appears imminent at this time, it is interesting to see an actual rumor involving a potential trade of Ward. Los Angeles has not been willing to trade anyone who is under contract for next season, preferring to trade rental players instead, for which Ward does not qualify. Ward has two more arbitration-eligible years remaining before he is set to become a free agent following the 2026 season. With that being said, the public statement of not wanting to deal non-rental players could just be a way to try and get a little extra for someone like Ward or any other players with multiple years of team control remaining.

If the Angels are actually going to listen to offers for Ward, it would be wise for the Cleveland Guardians to get into those conversations as soon as possible. The Guardians need a bat to help lengthen their lineup, and Ward would certainly help them accomplish that task. Ward has 16 doubles and 14 home runs in 89 games for Los Angeles this season, and that type of production could help a relatively underwhelming outfield outside of Steven Kwan be a more potent offensive group.