The Cleveland Guardians are surely hoping a new team name will bring along some good luck given they finished with a losing record last season for the first time since 2012. Competing in the AL Central is going to be no easy task, so making the right moves to improve is going to be crucial.
Opening Day is still a few weeks away and Cleveland would be smart to take advantage of the time left to find ways to upgrade the roster. That could mean signing free agents or promoting top prospects. Anyways, here's three moves the Guardians should make before the season starts.
Guardians Offseason Moves
1. Sign Joc Pederson to Play Left Field
Outside of Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes, the Guardians' starting lineup lacks any kind of power at the plate. Outfielder Myles Straw will be a great speedy leadoff hitter and prospect Steven Kwan is going to get some reps as a young player. However, the only other OF options right now are Bradley Zimmer and Josh Naylor. Neither player smacked more than 8 home runs last season despite combining for 598 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Joc Pederson remains unsigned after racking up 18 home runs and 61 RBI in 2021. His ability to knock in runs at the most crucial times would make him an instant fan favorite in Cleveland.
2. Add Another Bullpen Arm to the Mix
MLB teams know that having too much depth is never a bad thing. The Guardians posted the sixth-best bullpen ERA in the league last season (3.64) and ranked 12th with 642 strikeouts. It's worth noting that they did lose reliable arms like Bryan Shaw and Nick Wittgren to free agency, though. Cleveland cannot afford to take a step back in pitching and would benefit from bringing in another trusted relief pitcher or two. It's not like the market isn't still full of talent, either. Players like Tony Watson, Ryan Tepera and Archie Bradley would all be a welcome addition.
3. Explore an Extension for Jose Ramirez
Cleveland has seen quite a bit of turnover in its roster during the last few years. Star shortstop Francisco Lindor left for New York and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana is now in Kansas City. Keeping around the one player that has stuck by this fan base would certainly feel like positive momentum. Jose Ramirez earned his third All-Star game nod in 2021 and owns a career slash line of .278/.354/.501 across nine seasons with the team. His current contract features team options for both 2022 and 2023. Extending his deal a few years more would secure that at least one franchise star is here to stay. It's just a matter of retaining the financial flexibility involved with his current one.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.