Are the Guardians buyers or sellers?

58 minutes ago

This story was excerpted from Mandy Bell’s Guardians Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

It’s the time of the year when everyone asks the same questions about their favorite team: Are they buyers or sellers? Well, it’s not that black and white for the Guardians (it never really is). As always, this club is trying to find a way to stay in the gray area by picking up young, controllable, likely Major League ready talent, by tapping into some of its areas of strength to deal away.

As we’ve discussed many times in these newsletters, my crystal ball isn’t always accurate. But let’s take a look at a few things to keep a close eye on over the next few days until Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET Deadline:

1. All eyes on AmedAmed Rosario remains the obvious choice to include in some sort of trade. Even though he’s one of the most consistent hitters in the Guardians lineup, he’ll have enough trade value to bring back decent talent in return, not to mention that he’s part of an enormous logjam in the middle of Cleveland’s infield.

A few weeks ago, this seemed like a slam-dunk decision. Now, maybe it’s not as clear. If guys like Gabriel Ar?as and Tyler Freeman were breaking down the door at Triple-A Columbus, it’d be easier to decide to part ways with Rosario, causing Andr?s Gim?nez to move to shortstop and freeing second base for the next man in line. But because the Minor Leaguers aren’t forcing the issue, there’s a way to envision Rosario staying on the team, especially if the Guardians are trying to hang in the American League Central race that’s still wide open.

However, Rosario remains the most likely trade candidate.

2. Potential pickupsLet’s get to the topic everyone wants to hear about. Whom could the Guardians be targeting? The biggest areas of need are catchers (one who can hit, specifically), relievers and starters. Sean Murphy and Willson Contreras could be catchers the Guardians check on. Luis Castillo could be an arm that fits what Cleveland needs — a hurler who can bridge the gap until the next wave of talent like Daniel Espino or Gavin Williams is ready to reach the big leagues. With Castillo set to hit free agency in 2024, that may be the perfect window. And for relievers, take your pick. There are plenty on the market whom Cleveland could try to acquire.

3. Who else could be on the chopping block?The Guardians are always willing to listen to offers on nearly any of their players. But just because there are conversations doesn’t mean that player being discussed will be moved. (Keep that in mind during the whirlwind of rumors that could happen this week.)

But realistically, any of the starters aside from probably Triston McKenzie could be moved. If Franmil Reyes had started to find his rhythm, he could be included here, too, but because his trade value is low, he probably won’t be able to bring much back in a return. And with the team’s influx of middle infield talent, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of its top prospects included in a deal.