My logic is weird at times, and this is about to be one of those instances, as worlds will collide with two of my favorite things: the Cleveland Guardians and Blink-182. On paper, there is really no throughline. Sure, Tom DeLonge will support his hometown San Diego Padres while fans sing "All The Small Things." But there's zero connection to the Guardians.
Admittedly, this exercise is a stretch, and as the title implies, the Guardians need to add more power to this anemic lineup. So, where's the connection?
Easy: The Guardians should look to hit at least 182 home runs in 2024.
Now, mind you, hitting 182 home runs in 2023 would have only tied the Guardians for 18th with Boston; the league average was 196. Even going back to 2022, when the Guardians belted 127 home runs, 182 home runs would have ranked 12th in the league (with an average of 178). Most importantly, teams that hit the long ball fare better in the playoffs. Of the four remaining teams in the playoffs, only the Arizona Diamondbacks finished outside of the top ten in home runs.
Recently, many of our writers have suggested trade targets and possible free-agent acquisitions - including Juan Soto, Anthony Santander, Teoscar Hernández, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Hunter Renfroe. There are certainly others, but the aforementioned seem to fit the bill of a typical Guardians signing, except Soto - but hey, with new ownership, maybe they look to make a splash? Adding any one of these players would be an offensive boost.
But back to the task at hand, finding a way to add 58 home runs from this past season's total of 124.
First, let's examine a projected Opening Day lineup. It's safe to assume that Bo Naylor, Josh Naylor, Andrés Giménez, a combo of Gabriel Arias and Brayan Rocchio, and José Ramírez round out the infield. Steven Kwan is the only lock in the outfield, but I'll include Ramón Laureano in the mix too (please, anyone but Myles Straw). Lastly, DH is probably David Fry to start the season, and maybe/hopefully Kyle Manzardo.
Home Run Range
So if these projections are even remotely on track, it's likely the team can improve in the power department, but maybe not too much. It's reasonable to assume the bench provides a dozen or so homers as well. However, there's still the need to turn elsewhere to help supply more power.
Of the previously mentioned trade and free-agent targets, Soto is capable of suppling 30+ home run power, while the rest likely fall into the 20-25 range.
In taking a conservative approach in these calculations, let's assume the current projected lineup falls right in the middle of my estimates, thus reaching 133 home runs. Toss in the bench's 12, and another 25 from an acquisition (fingers crossed), it still leaves us 12 home runs short of my arbitrarily selected goal of 182.
Maybe adding 58 additional home runs is an unachievable goal, but for the sake of this offense, something close to that is sorely needed. The front office should hopefully make some moves, but there are very few glaring holes in the everyday lineup, the most notable being right field and questions at center and shortstop (though these latter two seem to have plenty of viable internal candidates available).
One more time... the Guardians need more power.