3 Players That Won't Be Returning to the Guardians Next Season
The Cleveland Guardians' miraculous run came to an end when they were eliminated in five games by the New York Yankees in the ALDS. Still, Terry Francona's club achieved more than most expected before the 2022 MLB campaign began, so the hope is that Cleveland can bring that success into next season.
General manager Mike Chernoff will have his hands full this offseason. Not only will he be looking for ways to improve his roster through free agency, but he also has to figure out which roster players will and won't be wearing a Guardians jersey next season if it means the team will be better.
Keeping that in mind, here are three Guardians players who likely won't be returning for the 2023 MLB season.
Guardians Offseason Rumors
1. Bryan Shaw, RP
Cleveland brought Bryan Shaw in two seasons ago, hoping that he could be a core piece of the bullpen. Well, that didn't go as planned. His 2021 was solid, but his ERA ballooned nearly two runs from 3.49 to 5.40. Any hope of him coming back for the 2023 campaign was squashed when the Guardians sent him down to the minors before the postseason even began, showing fans that they had zero faith in a comeback story. Having already left Cleveland once before in his career, it doesn't look like the second time was the charm for Shaw.
2. Austin Hedges, C
The Guardians don't have too many free agents this season, but Austin Hedges is one of them. The 30-year-old catcher has been a locker room leader for his team but hasn't produced offensively in a long time, coming off a season that saw him tally just 7 homers and 30 RBIs while batting .163 in 105 games. His -0.4 WAR (per Baseball-Reference) was tied for the second-worst mark of his career, highlighting his negative effect on the lineup. If Cleveland wants to get better wherever possible, Chernoff might need to come to the conclusion that Hedges is not the catcher to help take them to the next level.
3. Zach Plesac, SP
After achieving 10 wins in 25 starts in 2021, Zach Plesac left a lot to be desired in his fourth MLB campaign. The former Ball State product went an underwhelming 3-12 with a 4.31 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) while giving up a .260 batting average to opposing batters — the worst BA of his career. Even though Plesac is still under team control for three more seasons, the Guardians can use him as a trade chip to bring in a more proven veteran starter that might be on the block. After all, he's only 27 years old and another team could think that his best days are ahead of him. Plesac just isn't blossoming in Cleveland as planned, so a fresh start could be best for both sides.
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