There's been a lot of speculation about the Guardians' offseason plans but not a lot of real direction of where the team may be headed. However, the picture is starting to become a little clear as Executive of the Year, Chris Antonetti, identified two positions that the Guardians will look to improve at before Opening Day.
This is what he had to say:
"We go into the offseason with a lot of continuity in our roster. We only have a couple of free agents in Austin Hedges and Bryan Shaw and the rest of our roster is returning. So, we have a great opportunity and a great starting point for our offseason. We will look for opportunities behind the plate, whether that's bringing Austin back or exploring the market there and the catching market is certainly paying attention, and then if there's an opportunity to add to our offense is another place we'll look. We have flexibility in how we do that and then obviously if there are opportunities on the run prevention side adding a pitcher or two. So a variety if ways we can approach things but we head into the offseason with a solid foundation.
Antonetti has stayed pretty consistent when talking about Cleveland's off-season plans. Early in November, he said that the Guardians would "go into the offseason with the intent of trying to improve," now he is specifying what that exactly means.
Obviously, catcher is a big hole on this team, especially if they don't decide to permanently promote Bo Naylor. The Guardians have been attached to trade rumors for the Athletics' Sean Murphy and Toronto's Alejandro Kirk. Both of these players would be massive upgrades offensively.
The most interesting part of these comments was what Antonetti said about the possibility of bringing in a pitcher. Cleveland had one of the best bullpens in baseball, so if they were going to bring in another pitcher it would most likely be a starter.
That still raises the question of whether or not they would trade for one or look to sign someone in free agency.
There have been a lot of question marks about what direction the Guardians will go in this offseason but at least fans are starting to get some clarity on what those plans are.
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