A sub-.500 last season, the Cleveland Guardians have started off the 2022 MLB season on the right foot, sitting at a 34-28 record — good for the No. 2 spot in the AL Central. They trail the division-leading Minnesota Twins by a single game while also holding six games in hand.
If the Guardians want to catch the Twins while returning to the postseason in the process, they must find a way to improve their roster. Fortunately, the trade deadline is right around the corner, offering general manager Mike Chernoff plenty of opportunities to upgrade his club.
The MLB trade deadline is August 2, and these three players are the most likely to be targeted by the Guardians before the first week in August.
Guardians Trade Rumors
1. Willson Contreras, C — Chicago Cubs
With catchers Austin Hedges and Luke Maile both batting .196 or worse and combining for just four home runs and 19 RBIs, the Guardians could afford to inject some offense into the position. One catcher that they should have their eyes on is the Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras. The 30-year-old will likely be one of the most sought-after players at the deadline. Contreras has racked up 12 HRs and 27 RBIs through 58 games while batting .279. The two-time All-Star would give the Guardians a catcher who can actually punish other pitchers while still providing solid defensive performances along the way.
2. Tyler Mahle, SP — Cincinnati Reds
Teams are expected to call the Cincinnati Reds about several players before the trade deadline, including starting pitcher Tyler Mahle. If the Guardians are smart, they'll also sniff around for a potential deal. With the injuries and inconsistencies that the backend of Cincinnati's starting rotation has dealt with, Mahle is a much-needed target. His 4.46 ERA through 14 starts is far from his best, but he was a respectable 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA in 33 games last year, meaning a change in scenery could be what he needs to bounce back. Mahle is also under team control in 2023, so the Guardians won't need to be worried about him walking this offseason. If the price is right, Cleveland should be the team to save Mahle from the Reds.
3. Ian Happ, OF/IF — Chicago Cubs
The Guardians' outfield hasn't produced much offense this season, making Chicago Cubs outfielder/infielder Ian Happ the perfect trade target. The 27-year-old Pittsburgh, PA native has amassed seven HRs and 32 RBIs so far while batting .290 in 65 games — much better than Cleveland's outfielders. Additionally, Happ can play any position aside from shortstop and catcher, allowing the Guardians to plug him in anywhere they see fit. Throw in the fact that he played college baseball in Ohio (albeit, in Cincinnati), and trading for Happ seems like a move that would go over well with the Guardians' fanbase while improving the team along the way.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. 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.