Cleveland, Ohio – The Guardians, like any other team in the major leagues, called the Nationals when champion player Juan Soto refused to extend a $440 million contract and became the number one target in the trade.
The Citizens loved many of the Guardians’ prospects, according to MLB sources, but the conversation began with right-hand man Daniel Espino, the highest-ranked potential client in the Cleveland ranch system.
The problem was that Espino had not played since the end of April due to a right knee injury. Espino, who hit 101 mph, started four starts in the Class AA Akron before being shut down. He went 1-0 with 2.45 ERA and 35 hits in 18 1/3 innings.
Espino was Cleveland’s number one pick in 2019.
That’s pretty much where the conversation about Soto ended.
The Guardians, with Tuesday’s 6pm trading deadline approaching, are still looking to improve their big league roster. Monday night’s game against Arizona entered first-place Minnesota by one game at El Central. In the wild card race, they were 1 1/2 games behind the Rays in third and final AL wild card.
It’s no secret that Guardians like to get more attack from the capture location. They spoke to Oakland about Sean Murphy.
MLB sources said they’d like to add a starting pitcher as well. So far, the rotation has been performed at the infantry level after being the team’s strength for several years.
The Guardians have prospects for dealing. Among those talked about are field players Tyler Freeman and Jose Tina, defensive player/player Johnkensey Noel and hunter Brian Lavasteda.
Freeman, a second-round competitive balance pick in the 2017 draft, averaged 0.279 (82 to 294) with four homeowners and a 44 RBI in the AAA Columbus class. He missed some time at the beginning of the year while rehabilitating his surgically repaired left shoulder.
Lavastida, a 15th round pick in 2018, opened the season with the big league club due to expanded rosters due to the shutdown. In 44 games in Akron and Columbus, he made .207 (35 for 169) with four pub owners and 14 RBI.
Tina, who is signed off from the Dominican Republic, scores 267 (89 vs. 333) with seven Homer and 35 RBI in Akron. Last year, he hit 0.387 to win the Arizona Fall League batting title.
Noel, who is registered from the Dominican Republic, leads the organization with 28 Homers. He hits .218 (69 vs. 316) with 28 Homer and 60 RBI in Class A Lake County and Arkon. He has 100 hits and 26 walks.
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