Guardians might target catcher, reliever as trade deadline nears

JULY 16—The Guardian President of Baseball Operations Chris Antoinetti is in a tough but not unexpected position, with the August 2 trading deadline a little more than two weeks away.

The Guardians were 44–44 after defeating the Detroit Tigers 4–0 on July 14. Except for the stretch from May 30 to June 22, when he improved from 19-24 to 36-28, he didn’t play consistently well enough to show he could play with the best teams in the American League. Conversely, they are not as bad as their record of 8-16 as the hot streak reflects.

Six teams from each league will qualify for the post-season. The expanded format means that some average teams will play playoff baseball in October. Seven of the 15 teams in the American League are within three games of one of the three wild-card spots.

The Baltimore Orioles are 52-110, 45-44 in 2021 and only 1 1/2 games out of the wild-card race. The Guardians are two games from the last wild-card spot.

Antoinetti and General Manager Mike Chernoff don’t do the knee-jerk reaction like the stripes mentioned above. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they didn’t do anything on the trade deadline. It would be surprising if they are salespeople because the team is headed in the right direction, even if Antoinetti concluded on August 1 that the G-Men were still a year away. Usually sellers are doing resumes, and certainly not parents doing so.

Likewise, it would be a shock if they struck a blockbuster deal in 2020 on the trade deadline. Two years ago, in a season that was cut short by 60 games due to COVID-19, they sent off pitcher Mike Clevinger and outfielder Greg Allen. First baseman/outfielder Josh Naylor, catcher Austin Hedges, pitcher Cal Quantrill, infielder Owen Miller, shortstop Gabriel Arias and pitcher Joy Cantillo for the Padres on August 31.

Miller, Arias and Cantilo were in the Padres Farm System at the time of the trade. Cantillo is currently pitching at Double-A Akron. Arias has played with the Guardians this season, but he has spent most of the season with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.

Parents don’t have to be young. They could be targeting Oakland A’s catcher Sean Murphy if they make any trades to be strong for a playoff push.

The Guardian may use designated hitter Franmil Reyes or shortstop Amed Rosario in a trade package for Murphy. They also have promising medium fielders in their farming system, such as Brian Rocchio, who can be expendable.

Murphy is a player that many teams would be interested in acquiring. He is sustainable – 66 games as a catcher for AK and 13 as his DH this season. He’s hitting .237. Guardians primary catcher Austin Hedges is hitting .164 with five home runs and 15 RBIs. Murphy has nine home runs and 36 RBIs.

RJ Anderson of CBS Sports.com suggested Murphy to trade, writing, “He’s a formidable defender who makes good grades in all the most important categories, including framing, throwing, and staff-handling.” “Any sort of aggressive price offering that, let alone a good aggressive price for the backstop, makes him a great asset.”

Murphy, 27, is in control of the club until 2025.

Anderson listed Rey, the Astros, and the Giants as potential suitors for Murphy, but that’s no reason the Guardians shouldn’t explore the trade. He’ll be an upgrade in the next season and beyond, even if it doesn’t make him a playoff team this season.

Guardians can look for bullpen help and a corner outfielder at the time limit.

Pirates outfielder Brian Reynolds is a player that many teams will target. He has 15 home runs and 32 RBIs. The Guardians outfielders have a combined eight home runs, and four of them belong to Oscar Mercado, who was twice named for the assignment and is currently playing with the Clippers.

37-year-old reliever Daniel Byrd is likely to be traded by the Rockies. For what it’s worth, Byrd lined up for the Red Sox from 2009–2011 when Guardians manager Terry Francona was Boston manager.

26-year-old Joe Barlow has made 13 saves with the Texas Rangers this season. He could have taken some of the workload from the Guardian closer to Emanuel Claes. David Bedner of the Pirates has 16 defenses.

i didn’t know that

…until I read their Snapple bottle cap.

A day on Venus lasts for more than a year on Venus. … Dairy cows drink 50 gallons of water per day. … Less than three percent of the water on Earth is fresh. … Ten million bricks were used to build the Empire State Building. … Plants can run up a fever when they are sick. … Aphid moth is born pregnant.

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