ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As Cal Quantrill exited the guests clubhouse at Tropicana Field on Friday afternoon, he glanced at the TV in the middle of the room.
“What do you suppose?” he requested. “Straight up, me for that man?”
“That man” was Shohei Ohtani, and MLB Network analysts had been debating whether or not the Angels ought to trade the multi-talented star.
“I’m an excellent hitter!” Quantrill mentioned. (He’s 3-for-27 in his profession with a stroll and an RBI, though he’s batting .500 — 1-for-2 — since relocating to Cleveland.)
“You’re an excellent hitter?” supervisor Terry Francona replied whereas strolling previous.
Here’s a group of goings-on with the Guardians as Tuesday’s trade deadline nears.
The Guardians and A’s have mentioned catcher Sean Murphy, in keeping with a number of sources. Those talks had not gained quite a lot of traction as of Sunday morning. Oakland’s declare? It can simply grasp on to Murphy, who’s underneath workforce management for one more three and a half years, till the offseason and deal him in a extra populated market.
The A’s have Shea Langeliers, a extremely touted and major-league-ready catching prospect, ready at Triple A.
Cleveland wants an offensive jolt at catcher, and Murphy — to some in the group — is the excellent match, as a Gold Glove winner and above-average slugger who might mentor Bo Naylor subsequent season. The A’s might use outfield and high-end beginning pitching prospects (who could not?), so it is doable their entrance workplace is pondering alongside the strains of George Valera, Daniel Espino and Gavin Williams. Cleveland is perhaps extra inclined to faucet into its surplus of middle-infield prospects.
Plenty can occur as the deadline arrives and groups soften their stances a bit.
Zach Plesac is aware of his title has surfaced in trade rumors, due to texts from his pals.
“All that stuff is gossip,” Plesac mentioned. “He mentioned, she mentioned. People making faux accounts on Twitter. That’s why I haven’t got Twitter.”
Plesac has adopted the mindset of treating what occurs throughout the subsequent few days as out of his management, so he contends it is not price being consumed by it. Some teammates have taken the identical method. Others have studied the newest rumblings. Cleveland’s entrance workplace tends to entertain inquiries about any of the group’s gamers, so anybody’s title might enter the rumor mill.
“Everyone is getting negotiated on, particularly guys underneath management,” mentioned Plesac, who’s controllable by the 2025 season. “I’ve no say. I’m not going to learn into it as a result of I’m not going to sit down there and hope one factor occurs. I do not know if I’m being focused. I do know there have been talks, however at the finish of the day, that takes care of itself. It’s gossiping at this level.”
One may see the bundle the Reds acquired for Luis Castillo and daydream about the haul Shane Bieber might fetch on the trade market. And that is seemingly crossed the minds of some in Cleveland’s entrance workplace. At this level, although, it is extremely unlikely that Bieber will transfer this summer time.
The Guardians inquired about Castillo earlier than he was traded to the Mariners. As for different Cincinnati targets, maybe Brandon Drury would make sense for Cleveland. Drury has appeared at each infield place this season and is having fun with a breakout yr at the plate with an .859 OPS and a career-high 20 house runs.
Castillo is not the solely beginning pitcher the Reds can dangle. Tyler Mahle is underneath workforce management by subsequent season, which does little for the rebuilding membership. Mahle’s choice to signal with the Reds and forgo school, by the means, opened a spot for a walk-on on UC Santa Barbara’s pitching workers 9 years in the past. That walk-on’s title? Shane Bieber
The Guardians are in a troublesome spot with Franmil Reyes. With Josh Naylor requiring common upkeep on his again and his ankle, it helps to have the designated hitter spot accessible. Naylor is anticipated to be checked by medical doctors in Cleveland on Monday.
As for Reyes, it is arduous to think about there’s a lot of a marketplace for his bat, which proved fairly dependable in his first 4 seasons however has been poor this yr. It’s troublesome to see how he’d match on subsequent yr’s Guardians roster, particularly incomes one other $4.5 million or so by way of arbitration, if he by no means fixes his swing this season. Even August and September are difficult, with Nolan Jones and Oscar Gonzalez (who’s nearing a return from the injured checklist) deserving constant at-bats, plus Will Benson, Will Brennan and Richie Palacios biding their time at Triple A. Benson has began to play some first base.
Reyes was one in every of 5 gamers acquired from the Reds and Padres in the trade for Trevor Bauer three years in the past. He is the just one remaining in the Cleveland group. Yasiel Puig is out of baseball. Logan Allen is pitching for the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate. Scott Moss is toiling away in the Phillies’ farm system. Victor Nova is taking part in unbiased ball with the Gary (Indiana) SouthShore RailCats.
If it had been purely a roster-building choice, Amed Rosario’s tenure with the Guardians would most likely be ending in the subsequent couple of days. If it had been a choice primarily based purely on the 2022 season, dealing Rosario would not even advantage a nanosecond of thought.
But the Guardians are each pursuing the AL Central title and adhering to their long-term blueprint. Those targets do not all the time align, and the result’s some troublesome conversations. Some in the entrance workplace might desire to maneuver him now, whereas he has trade worth, so the membership can begin to find out about Gabriel Arias or Tyler Freeman. Obviously, that might hinder the Guardians’ capacity to outlast the Twins and White Sox.
The deciding issue is perhaps the market, or lack thereof. If the workforce had been eight video games out, the entrance workplace would simply settle for something tossed its means. Instead, it will should be compelled by the potential return for a trade to make sense. Since there would not look like a strong shortstop market at the second, Rosario may stick round for the summer time.
For a full examination of the Rosario scenario, learn this story.
If you did not tire of listening to about the 40-man roster crunch final summer time and fall, excellent news: It’s as soon as once more factoring into practically each roster choice the entrance workplace considers. Players who should be added to the roster by late November embody Bo Naylor, Brennan, Xzavion Curry, Peyton Battenfield, Hunter Gaddis, Nick Mikolajchak, Angel Martinez, Ethan Hankins, Joey Cantillo and Will Benson. The workforce can create some area at the finish of the season, because it did final yr. But loading the 40-man roster with prospects who aren’t major-league-ready is a technique to assure complications (and a part of the purpose we have seen Kirk McCarty and Oscar Mercado get designated for project and then re-claimed, and Bryan Shaw begins a pair of video games, and Sandy León bounces between the Reds and Guardians extra usually than the Ohio Cup). The entrance workplace is aware of the clock is ticking on consolidating prospects in a trade.
— The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal contributed to this story.
(Top photograph of Sean Murphy: Robert Edwards / USA Today)