If the Cleveland Guardians have taught us something in recent years, it’s preaching patience.
They are not a big-market team; and spending big bucks on free agents is not how they really operate.
They, instead, like to build from within: they have a keen eye for identifying talent and great coaches to develop it.
They create their own stars: sometimes they trade them because they can’t, or won’t, extend them all.
However, in the long run, the system that they put in place allows them to have a worthy replacement for each and every player.
Patience and savvy management: that should be the Guardians’ mantra.
When they traded Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets in early 2021, everybody thought we wouldn’t see Cleveland in the postseason for at least five years or so.
They returned to the postseason in 2022 after a one-year hiatus.
It turns out that two of the players they got for Lindor and Carlos Carrasco are young MLB stars: Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez.
Of the two prospects they got, Isaiah Greene is showing wheels and an excellent OBP in the low minors, and Josh Wolf remains promising even despite mediocre numbers in the minors.
Lindor required a 10-year, $341 million extension before that 2021 campaign.
The Guardians have worked their magic extending players and keeping the expenses under that total.
“Crazy to think for the price of Francisco Lindor’s Mets contract ($341M), the #Guardians spent almost that on the following extensions/FA currently on the roster: $141M/7yr: JRAM; $106.5M/7yr: Gimenez; $33M/2yr: J.Bell; $25M/5yr: Straw; $20M/5yr: Clase; $6M: Zunino. $331.5M total,” Guardians analyst Jensen Lewis tweeted.
Crazy to think for the price of Francisco Lindor’s Mets contract ($341M), the #Guardians spent almost that on the following extensions/FA currently on the roster:
$331.5M total https://t.co/5P4V7o97Zo
— Jensen Lewis (@JLEWFifty) March 28, 2023
Jose Ramirez alone is arguably a better player than Lindor, and cost a fraction of what his former teammate did.
Gimenez is already pretty close to Lindor, and got $106.5 million: less than a third.
Bell and Zunino offer power and on-base ability, Straw is a difference-maker with the glove, and Clase is the best reliever in the American League.
Chris Antonetti worked his magic again.NEXT: MLB Analysts Break Down Andres Gimenez's New Contract