The 2022 MLB trade deadline, set for August 2, is quickly approaching.
That means teams have to figure out what to do: some will look to acquire assets to fortify their playoff chances, others will sell and rebuild, and some organizations will likely stay put.
The 48-47 Cleveland Guardians remain a mystery.
Prospects-wise, they have the ammo to go after just about any available star in the league.
However, they are not known to sacrifice prospects for rentals.
They do have an organizational logjam at a premium position: shortstop.
Former scout and current analyst Bernie Pleskoff explains it via Twitter.
“Tyler Freeman is showing why he’s a top middle-infield prospect in @CLEGuardians organization. But so are Gabriel Arias and Brayan Rocchio. So-the team’s front office has serious decisions to make regarding those 3 and Amed Rosario. They have to sort out the long-term,” he wrote.
Tyler Freeman is showing why he's a top middle-infield prospect in @CLEGuardians organization. But so are Gabriel Arias and Brayan Rocchio. So-the team's front office has serious decisions to make regarding those 3 and Amed Rosario. They have to sort out the long-term.
— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) July 26, 2022
The Guardians Have Enormous Middle Infield Depth
Freeman, 23, is having a good season in Triple-A, hitting .273/.365/.365 with six homers and five stolen bases.
Speed and power are limited, but not non-existent, and his contact and on-base ability guarantee a future for him in the bigs.
Arias hasn’t had a good season in the minors but oozes potential, and Rocchio is excelling at Double-A, with 11 round-trippers and nine stolen bases.
What about Rosario?
There isn’t much power in Rosario’s profile, but he is hitting a solid .294/.331/.410 with four homers, 53 runs, and 10 steals.
Perhaps more importantly, his formerly atrocious defense is now an asset: he has five Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and one Out Above Average (OAA) in more than 700 innings.
He has developed into a nice shortstop, but Cleveland can take advantage of this by maximizing his value and trading him for outfield or pitching help.
Even if Freeman, Arias, or Rocchio don’t pan out, they can slide Andres Gimenez over to shortstop in a worst-case scenario.
They should take advantage of their depth at baseball’s most premium infield position.