Cardinals & Guardians




Cardinals & Guardians

May 18, 2023


Name Age Level P1 P2 Availablility Years AFV Salary Surplus Low Median High
Bieber 28 Majors SP Low 1.8 84 22.5 61.5 49.2 61.5 73.7


Name Age Level P1 P2 Availablility Years AFV Salary Surplus Low Median High
Carlson 24 Majors OF Low 3.8 58 24 34 27.2 34 40.8
Gorman 23 Majors 3B Low 5.8 41.7 16 25.7 20.6 25.7 30.9
  1. Ty Archy

    Cleveland isn’t going to even think about this one IF Bieber was available…

  2. J.M. F.

    The Cardinals have platooned Gorman not playing him against lefties. Gorman is 0-9 vs lefties in 2023. How does that help the Guardians? It doesn’t. Gorman has played 3B and 2B and his poor defensively? Again, that doesn’t help the Guardians. Gorman has been a platoon DH.

    Carlson is hurt again and just went on the IL where he spends a decent amount of time. He is a career .246 hitter and is not a power hitter. He has had one season with more than 8 home runs hitting 18 in 2021, the only year he has hit above .236.

    A platoon DH and a mediocre oft injured outfielder do not help the Guardians fill needs.

    • Chaim Bloom

      I agree that CLE says no, but I think your assessment of the return is pretty bad. Carlson has been hitting the ball pretty hard this year and profiles as average to slightly above average as a hitter, defender, and baserunner, probably worth 2-3 WAR per year. Straw is a clearly negative hitter, a plus baserunner and a plus to plus plus defender (although the metrics don’t like his defense so far this year), also probably in the 2-3 WAR per year range, but with more downside if loses a step since he needs to be a great defender to offset his hitting.

      Gorman is flat out a better hitter right now than Naylor or Bell, so even if he is limited to a platoon 1B/DH against righties, that’s still an upgrade for CLE. Plus he doesn’t hit arb until 2026 and FA until 2029, which fits CLE’s timeline better than Bieber, Bell, or Naylor. He looks like 3+ WAR guy even with no defensive contribution. He’s been a clear negative defender at 2B and 3B, but isn’t awful and has the ability to fill in there if needed. There was also talk of him learning LF at one point, and if he could be passable there then Gorman/Kwan/Carlson with Straw as a 4th OF/pinch runner/defensive replacement would be the best OF CLE has had in years.

      Ultimately, I agree that CLE says no, mostly because I think CLE likes Straw in CF (probably more than they should) and Carlson isn’t a big upgrade there and he is probably only a 1-2 WAR guy in RF. If you add a third piece, swap in a better fit for Carlson, or go to a 3 team deal where CLE trades away some combo of Carlson/Straw/Bell/Naylor for an upgrade elsewhere, something like this could be appealing.

      I also think this shape of deal is somewhat unlikely, needing STL to get back into the the playoff race and CLE to stay a few games under .500.

      • J.M. F.

        Realchaim, it you really study the Guardians, you would find that hitting lefties is very challenging for the current Guardians. They need a strong right handed bat that could aid with them with lefties. Gorman, though a potentially good hitter, does not solve that issue. That major weakness would still exist and not be addressed and your best trade chip is gone. That makes little sense for me. Gorman is weak defensively and has never played 1B or RF in the minors or majors. Cleveland values defense so passable may not fly with them. He looks to be strictly a DH. Again, how does that solve a major weakness that the Guardians have? The answer is that it doesn’t.

        We disagree on Carlson as well. Carlson is not anywhere close to an above average bat. As far as a baserunner, Carlson has a whopping nine career stolen bases. He is also frequently injured. He is currently on the IL.

        This proposal solves none of Cleveland’s major offensive issues while it costs their best trade chip. If they are going to trade Bieber, they damn well better find help that meets their needs. This one doesn’t do it.

        • Chaim Bloom

          Again, I agree that CLE says no because of fit issues.

          I am well aware of their issues hitting LHP. But hitting in general is very challenging for the current Guardians. This season, they have a team OPS of .645 against RHP and .639 against LHP. It’s easy to get a platoon bat against lefties compared to a hitter as young, good, and cheap as Gorman. They could trade a 40 grade prospect for Jesus Aguilar or Lane Thomas or Nick Senzel to address their problem with LHP, they don’t need to do that in a Bieber trade. They aren’t one good bat against LHP from having an average, or even passable offense, they need 2-3 bats that can just hit.

          Carlson has a career wrc+ of 101, a career ops+ of 101, and an xwoba of .312 this year, which is 36 points higher than his .276 woba this year and in line with his career woba of .314. League average woba has been in the .310-.315 range during Carlson’s career. These all point to Carlson being a slightly above average hitter. There is much more to base running than stealing bases, and for his career Carlson is worth about 1 run above average as a baserunner per season.

      • Ty Archy

        They aren’t trading Bieber unless they get what they want, which this trade does not do that at all…

        Since Gorman is a crappy fielder and Carlson hasn’t been a good hitter… he’s been a sub 100 OPS+ in the last 500 ABs. There value to Cleveland is likely half of what BTV has them at… Add in Graceffo, McGreevey and Herrera, then Cleveland would think about it. IF anything, Cleveland likely won’t part with Bieber unless they get those three plus an MLB ready bat and likely one more player…

        • Chaim Bloom

          Again, I agree that CLE says no because of fit issues.

          Carlson has a career wrc+ of 101, a career ops+ of 101, and an xwoba of .312 this year, which is 36 points higher than his .276 woba this year and in line with his career woba of .314. League average woba has been in the .310-.315 range during Carlson’s career. These all point to Carlson being a slightly above average hitter.

          I’m not sure CLE would want Herrera since he doesn’t project as well as (Bo) Naylor and it seems like an inefficient use of resources to have two highly rated young catchers who will take playing time from each other. I would expect CLE to just use veteran stopgaps until Naylor is ready. I’m not sure what you mean by mlb ready bat if not Gorman.

          I think if you add McGreevy to Carlson and Gorman, plus maybe either a MLB ready guy like Yepez or a high ceiling longer term prospect like Baez or Bernal, then make a corresponding move like (Josh) Naylor for Lane Thomas, that could work for CLE. An OF of Kwan/Carlson/Thomas with Straw as a 4th OF/pinch runner/defensive sub gives you three solid hitters in the OF, with Thomas being particularly good against LHP, Gorman is an upgrade on (Josh) Naylor both in the present and the future, McGreevy feels like a good fit for the CLE Pitching Factory and could be a mid rotation guy in a year or two, plus you either add a high upside prospect or another young MLB bat.

          A regular batting order of something like Kwan/Bell/Ramirez/Gorman/Carlson/Gimenez/Thomas/Zunino/Rosario vs RHP and Kwan/Bell/Ramirez/Thomas/Carlson/Gimenez/Rosario/Zunino/Gorman vs LHP looks to be about league average and probably 4-5 wins better than the current Guardians lineup, with a better 3-5 year outlook as well. Assuming one of CLE’s young arms can be league average for the rest of the year and continued improvement of the young arms in the coming years means a slight step back at most this year and maybe next, but a much stronger team in 2025 when the bulk of CLE’s top prospects should be coming into their own at the MLB level.

          CLE may be able to get a better return for Bieber elsewhere, and the trade as proposed doesn’t work, but there’s a reasonable path forward for CLE with a return centered carlson+gorman+an additional piece or two+an additional move or two.

          • Ty Archy

            What you have to understand is Cleveland is committed to Naylor and Straw as starters and Naylor isn’t available nor will be traded, so that negates a lot that you said…

            Bo Naylor, hasn’t shown the ability to hit lefties and is still developing as a catcher, so they need one who is stronger defensively that hits from the right side. Plus you are forgetting to take into account Bo Naylor can and likely will play off of Catcher in due time, plus having a guy like Fry as a bench guy (who can play C) is likely in the cards going forward.

            Carlson is for sure a no so no point of mentioning him to Cleveland period (not being mean, they just dont want him) and Gorman is a good enough bat you could merit him being included, but they have to get a right handed middle of the lineup guy and Gorman isn’t that. They have a ton of left handed hitting prospects and most of the organization hits from the left side. The right handers they do have, outside of three in the entire organization, only hit for contact. There would have to be a third team involved for the Cardinals to get Bieber since they don’t have what Cleveland wants.

            Like I am not against Gorman, he’s just not worth 25 value to Cleveland… He’s a left handed hitter who is a crappy fielder plus doesn’t face lefties… His only value is his power otherwise Cleveland wouldn’t even think about him.

            So if you can find a deal that would find a solid RH bat with some pop (with team control, O’Neill doesn’t work, plus it’s likely going to be a 1B/Corner OF) going back to Cleveland, with Herrera, Graceffo, McGreevey going back to Cleveland, then Cardinals can get Bieber. They aren’t going to take any less…

        • Chaim Bloom

          Again, I agree that CLE says no because of fit issues.

          CLE is committed to Naylor and Straw as starters for now, but they are not particularly close to being genuine contenders, so they need to upgrade somewhere. JRam and possibly Gimenez are the only players they are actually committed to long term. Straw in particular I think can contribute almost as much as a 4th OF as a starter. Even if you are married to Straw in center, Carlson would be a significant upgrade in RF.

          Bo Naylor can hit lefties just fine. He’s at .271/.400/.521 vs RHP and .250/.400/.521 vs LHP this year, .271/.395/.502 vs RHP and .214/.358/.439 vs LHP in 2022, .195/.279/.324 vs RHP and .158/.284/.368 vs LHP in 2021. He might have some platoon splits in the majors, but he isn’t his brother. Naylor is also better defensively than Herrera, and it makes little sense to demand someone who you project as a backup catcher as a significant piece in return for Bieber. If you want a catcher in the return, Bernal makes more sense for CLE, with a higher ceiling and longer timeline.

          Gorman has a plus hit tool, plus plate discipline, and plus to plus plus power. He’s definitely playing above his true talent level so far this season, but he has really good batted ball metrics and looks to be somewhere around the 90th percentile as a hitter. He’s a below average defender, but he’s passable, and even if he is DH only, he’s a 3+ WAR DH making the league minimum with 6 years of control.

          I don’t understand why you are locked on to Herrera, Graceffo, and McGreevy. Gorman on his own is more valuable than all three put together, and they are only in the 5 to 10 range in the STL system. At least be locked on to Walker or Hence or Nootbar or someone else with all star potential. Graceffo has a No.3 starter ceiling, McGreevy looks like a BOR starter or long reliever, and Herrera is a fringy defensive catcher with the bat to be an average starter. All of them have value, and they all are good prospects, but they aren’t better prospects than CLE already has in the upper levels of the minors for those roles. There isn’t a prospect in CLE’s system with close to Walker or Nootbaar or Gorman’s offensive upside except for maybe DeLauter, who is two years away at the soonest.

          I feel like we are mostly talking past each other, so I will leave it there. Have a nice weekend.

          • G T

            I’m wondering how many times you have to tell SportsCoach that you also agree that the Tribe won’t agree to this trade, and that you only disagree with his assessment of the players, before they finally understand. You obviously have a way better understanding of what these players are than SportsCoach

  3. J.M. F.

    Gorman helps versus right handed pitching, but that is not the major problem that the Guardians have. Cleveland struggles mightly against lefties and adding Gorman adds nothing to help solve that problem. Cleveland does not need another 2B or 3B so Gorman would be stuck at DH. Cleveland is not sitting Josh Naylor against righties so that means sitting Josh Bell. And we would still be in the same poor position versus a lefty. That is the issue I have with Gorman. The main upside with Gorman would be a power bat.

    I don’t see the upside for Carlson. He is frequently on the IL like he is at the current time and does not provide the power bat needed for right field. Personally, I have no interest in Carlson and even more so in O’Neil.

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