Would the Cleveland Guardians want a mulligan on parting ways with Cal Quantrill?

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The Cleveland Guardians have gotten off to an impressive start in 2024, with a 31-17 record and holding the top spot in the American League Central division. Thisis a team that has managed to exceed the expectations most had for them entering the season. Even with all of their success, there is one from this past offseason that has been identified as something they might want a do-over with.Moving on from Cal Quantrill.

Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller believes that designating Quantrill for assignment is Cleveland's 1 Offseason Mulligan Each MLB Team Wishes It Had. Miller notes that the Guardians were not particularly active in the offseason, with the DFA of Quantrill being one of their more impactful roster decisions.

"There was a nice big head-scratcher, though, as the Guardians designated Quantrill for assignment with two years of team control remaining, traded him to Colorado for a low-level prospect (Kody Huff) and later replaced him in the rotation with a Carlos Carrasco reunion."

Kerry Miller

While Miller does go on to mention that having Carlos Carrasco in their rotation was not part of their initial roster construction plans, it is still something that appears to be held against them here. Having Carrasco in their rotation is out of necessity, not choice. The Guardians lost Shane Bieber for the season after just two starts, and Gavin Williams is yet to pitch in 2024. Carrasco's spot in the rotation was more than likely supposed to be temporary while Williams worked his way back, but the moment the team lost Bieber to Tommy John, everyone knew that he would be in the rotation for longer than anyone could have anticipated.

Would Quantrill and his surprising 3.66 ERA and 1.316 WHIP be a welcome addition to the Guardians' rotation right now? Absolutely, but let's not live in a world clouded by hindsight. There was not an opening for Quantrill on the team as initially constructed, with Bieber, Williams, Triston McKenzie, Tanner Bibee, and Logan Allen having firm holds on their rotation spots. It is incredibly easy to look at how things played out and say they should have handled this differently, but that is not how things work in the real world. 

Cleveland assessed their roster and took the path they believed to be the correct one given the information they had and the expected availability of arms in their rotation, with Quantrill being the odd man out at the time. It is hard to fault their process, considering the regression of Quantrill last season combined with other starters that were viewed as superior options, even with the results playing out in the manner they have now. Moving on from Quantrill was the right decision at the time and one that the front office would more than likely do again if they were given the chance to.