Should the Cleveland Guardians look to trade for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward?

Taylor Ward has been made available by the Los Angeles Angels, and the Cleveland Guardians should be interested.
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

It is very clear by now that the Cleveland Guardians will be looking to upgrade their outfield group by the trade deadline. Outside of Steven Kwan, there really has not been a whole lot of offensive output from this group, with Tyler Freeman and Will Brennan providing very much average production at the plate. The organization designated both Ramon Laureano and Estevan Florial for assignment after their poor performances, and this has created an opportunity for the Guardians to upgrade if one were to become available, and one just did. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward.

According to a report from FanSided's Robert Murray, the Angels are open to listening to offers for Ward.While the asking price is expected to be large initially, there is a belief that it will comedown as the trade deadline approaches. This will make Ward a very popular trade target for any team looking to push for a postseason berth and in need of an outfielder.

If the Guardians were able to acquire Ward from Los Angeles, it would help solidify their lineup and elevate the talent floor of their current group. Ward is currently slashing .253/.322/.455 with 11 home runs and 11 doubles to go with an OPS+ of 115 in 61 games. This is very similar to his career averages of .255/.332/.431 and 110, indicating that this level of production should continue.

Ward currently has two more arbitration-eligible years before becoming a free agent, making him an ideal trade target for Cleveland. Players that fit this description should be at or near the top of the list of players the Guardians look into acquiring before the deadline. Having a general idea of what Ward will make through his next two years of arbitration will make it a lot easier for the Guardians to know how much they will be spending on players' contracts. In turn, this will help them make decisions on who to extend, who to trade for, and who to go after in free agency moving forward.

Even though trading for Ward would not be as splashy as somehow getting Luis Robert Jr. from the Chicago White Sox, it would still be a move that makes this team better, and that is what counts. It is about elevating the production from their outfield group and improving upon the serviceable output they have received thus far, a task that bringing Ward into the mix would certainly accomplish.