What a beautiful sight it is every year to see pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the first true sign that we're going to make it through another tough winter after all.
For the Cleveland Guardians, they were certainly active this offseason, and they did make one major free-agent splash in signing first baseman Josh Bell to a two-year deal.
The team also found its new catcher in Mike Zunino after letting Austin Hedges walk, along with signing a variety of guys to minor-league deals with invites to spring training. Some of those names are certainly compelling if the organization can work its reclamation project magic.
And while the Guardians no doubt were looking around for a potentially big trade, nothing ended up materializing that made sense (sorry to all the Bryan Reynolds fanatics out there).
So with that in mind, what can we make of the Guardians' offseason? It was no doubt a solid one; the team's two biggest needs were likely another power bat and someone to keep the catching position warm as the Guardians figure out what to do there long-term. While it might have been nice to see another veteran starter added to the mix, the Guardians also have a plethora of young pitching waiting for its chance.
If there was any room for concern, it would be the disaster scenario of Bell missing any sort of extended time during the season. Cleveland's offense still doesn't have the depth it wants, which is likely why the team was still searching for an impact bat through a trade. The Guardians remain a tremendously young team, and they did get incredibly lucky on the injury front in 2022. If there was ever something to be wary of, it would be the universe correcting that in 2023. Every team deals with it; the Guardians will just be hoping to keep any sort of injuries to a minimum once again.
It's hard to be too upset with the team plugging holes this offseason and signing a true impact bat that will protect José Ramírez in the lineup while taking some pressure off the other young bats. It would have been great to see Cleveland acquire one more bat, but maybe that's just being greedy.
Still, the Guardians had an exciting offseason that has them positioned to once again contend for the AL Central crown. What more could you ask for?