Pedro Severino Trade Deadline Destination #3: Cleveland Guardians
The Guardians are in a bit different of a situation than the other two teams. While Houston leads the AL West and Tampa is 13 games over .500 and in the 3rd Wild Card spot by 2.5 games, Cleveland is currently 51-49 and two games behind the Minnesota Twins for first in the AL Central.
So, the big question is whether the Guardians will be buyers or sellers heading into the MLB trade deadline. Should they decide to buy and make a push for the division, it would behoove them to address their catcher position in the next few days.
At .527, the Guardians catchers have been even worse than the above two teams in OPS this season, sitting 3rd worst in MLB. They are only barely better than the Astros in average at .173, 2nd worst in the league, while putting up a league low 24 runs batted in.
Cleveland’s primary catcher for the last couple seasons has been Austin Hedges, who they acquired in a mega-deal with the San Diego Padres toward the end of the shortened 2020 season. So far, that part of the trade has not worked out in the Guardians’ favor.
Hedges is batting a lowly .172 with a .513 OPS in 63 games with Cleveland this year, not far off his overall numbers in 157 games since joining the team. His main backup has been former Brewer Luke Maile, who has contributed just a .192 average and .572 OPS in 43 games this season.
The Brewers and Indians have been trade partners recently, albeit for a pretty small move. Milwaukee traded for pitcher J.C. Mejia last offseason after Cleveland designated him for assignment. Unfortunately, the Brewers will have to wait to see what they have in as, like Severino, he was also suspended for 80 games earlier this year.
Even if the Guardians are on the fence as to whether to be buyers or sellers at the deadline, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to trade for Severino. Hedges becomes a free agent this offseason so perhaps they could bring in the Brewer backstop and see whether he would be worth re-signing for his final arbitration year in 2023.
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There’s no guarantee the Brewers move on from Severino at the MLB trade deadline. Based on his recent usage, though, it would make all the sense in the world to do so.