As free agency finally returns after the end of the MLB lockout, there are several high-profile free agents who have yet to sign.
And there are a number of teams who may be ready to make a splash before spring training games begin on Thursday.
According to Ken Rosenthal, one of those teams could be the Cleveland Guardians, who enter their first year under a new name.
Rosenthal notes that the Guardians have a little more payroll flexibility than in years past, and that they’re exploring some bullpen arms, as well as some bats, adding that they’re one of the teams in the mix for Matt Olson.
Guardians a team to watch. Deep farm system (No. 8 in @keithlaw’s rankings), as well as some financial flexibility. Exploring high-end and mid-level bats (OF, 1B) as well as bullpen help, with preference for multi-year control. Among teams in mix for Athletics 1B Matt Olson.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 14, 2022
A Sneaky Contender?
This is interesting to see, and after Cleveland missed the postseason last year, they may be a team that looks to become a sneaky contender.
It would be interesting to see them land some high-profile talent ahead of the 2022 season.
Adding Olson would be a huge plus for the Guardians, but as Rosenthal notes, there are several other high-end and mid-level bats, so Cleveland could potentially be a landing spot for a guy like Joc Pederson or even Kyle Schwarber.
As of now, the Guardians don’t look like a contending ballclub, but a couple big moves could change that and put them back in the conversation for the AL Central title, or at least the Wild Card race, given the expansion of the postseason to 12 teams and the addition of a third Wild Card.
We’ll see what Cleveland does in these next few days.