This past season, the New York Yankees had severe outfield depth issues.
Aaron Hicks didn’t produce and was eventually released, Harrison Bader alternated periods of very little production with injuries, Aaron Judge also got hurt and missed almost two months, and the team was forced to play with the likes of Willie Calhoun, Jake Bauers, Billy McKinney, and Franchy Cordero.
With that being the case, one would expect a former top prospect like Estevan Florial would get more chances.
Well, he still played a meager 19 games in the majors despite staying healthy for most of the season.
He just wasn’t a legitimate option in the Yankees’ minds.
Now, the Cleveland Guardians moved to acquire him, in exchange for right-hander Cody Morris.
A Yankees insider notes that Florial might have more opportunities in Cleveland.
“Estevan Florial might have a clearer big-league shot in Cleveland,” The Athletic’s Brendan Kuty said, and he is right.
Estevan Florial might have a clearer big-league shot in Cleveland. https://t.co/vNpFhIUN5Q
— Brendan Kuty 🧟♂️ (@BrendanKutyNJ) December 26, 2023
Florial was just no longer in the Yankees’ plans.
However, the Guardians are eager to see what he can do after a change of scenery, with less pressure, and the confidence of the organization.
Playing with a fear to fail will almost always lead to failing, but logic indicates Florial, who hit 28 home runs and stole 25 bases last season in Triple-A, will get a fair chance in Cleveland.
He has power, speed, athleticism, and good defense.
All he needs to do is become an average hitter to be an everyday player for the Guardians.
Of course, it’s easier said than done considering he is already 26 and has failed to establish himself as a legitimate MLB hitter, but he hasn’t gotten a fair chance.
He has a woeful .609 OPS as a major leaguer, but the Guardians will work with him to try to improve his contact issues and will have more patience than the Yanks.
Something good can come out of all this.