The Cleveland Guardians are actively trying to improve their offense.
They do not have the budget (or the willingness to spend) to go after the Cody Bellinger types, so they are forced to be creative on their quest to bring in talented hitters.
They often look at the potentially underrated or undervalued players, those who are not expensive or tough to acquire but have some untapped potential.
In other words, they look at low-risk, high-upside moves from time to time.
They just executed the definition of a low-risk, high-upside trade with the New York Yankees on Tuesday, bringing in former top prospect Estevan Florial.
“The Guardians have traded RHP Cody Morris to the Yankees in exchange for OF Estevan Florial,” Guardians insider Mandy Bell tweeted.
The Guardians have traded RHP Cody Morris to the Yankees in exchange for OF Estevan Florial.
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) December 26, 2023
Morris is talented, but the Guardians continually produce or acquire quality middle relievers on the cheap.
On the other hand, their offense is not particularly deep, especially in the outfield, which is the position Florial plays.
The Yankees have shown very little patience with Florial through the years.
The lefty-hitting Florial has some quality tools, but has been stopped by a lack of discipline at the plate.
He is now 26, but was one of MLB’s top prospects at some points in the last decade.
In 19 MLB games and 71 plate appearances, he hit .230/.324/.311 with no homers and three steals.
He did draw a good amount of walks (9.9% walk rate) but struck out too much, at 28.2%.
He was much better in Triple-A, with a .284/.380/.565 line with 28 home runs and 25 stolen bases.
He has a long way to go to gain some offensive consistency and learn to hit breaking balls, but the gamble is very much worth taking on the Guardians side.