Guardians Trades Review One Month Later

September 7, 2023

Tony Camino

Taking a look at how the trade deadline moves look a month later

Sitting a significant number of games behind the Minnesota Twins, the season clearly didn’t go as anyone envisioned. The underperformance of the first four months of the season led the Guardians to part ways with some major league contributors. Amed Rosario, Aaron Civale, and Josh Bell departed at the deadline. So, how do the deals look now, and what are their implications going forward? Let’s check in on every trade deadline deal from the Guardians

Ahmed Trade

Dodgers get: INF Amed Rosario

Guardians Get: SP Noah Syndergaard

In their first move of the deadline, the Guardians traded SS Amed Rosario to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. While with the Guardians, Rosario struggled this year, posting an 87 wRC+ and some of the league’s worst defenses. The acquisition of Syndergaard was intended to enable the Guardians to move Aaron Civale and have someone eat innings before Cal Quantrill returned.

Since trade:

  • Amed Rosario: 93 wRC+, .244 avg with .716 OPS
  • Gabriel Arias: 97 wRC+ .252 avg with .726 OPS
  • Noah Syndergaard: 5.40 ERA with 1.29 WHIP

Rosario started off hot with the Dodgers but has cooled down back to what we saw this year. The Guardians opened up at-bats for Gabriel Arias in this trade, which was a huge goal of the move. Syndergaard wasn’t very good, but he provided the team with exactly what they were looking for from him before letting him go. It would’ve been nice to see Rosario stick around as a platoon bat, but it was time to figure out the 2024 shortstop. Arias has been more productive offensively and has been a complete switch from the poor defense of Rosario.

Civale Trade

Rays get: SP Aaron Civale

Guardians get: 1B/DH Kyle Manzardo

Arguably the move that received the most instant pushback from fans, the Guardians seized an opportunity to capitalize on Aaron Civale’s strong first half and acted on it. Parting ways with Civale was challenging given the team’s situation, but he wasn’t necessary for 2024, and the Guardians saw an opportunity to acquire offensive help for next year and beyond. Kyle Manzardo is the #2 prospect in the Guardians’ system and ranks #59 in all of baseball.

Since trade:

  • Aaron Civale: 3.82 ERA with 1.27 WHIP
  • Kyle Manzardo: 102 wRC+, .281 avg with .806 OPS

Civale has performed solidly with the Rays, but he hasn’t been dominant. While he could have helped the Guardians make a better late-season push with some quality starts, the opportunity to add a potential impact bat for 2024 and beyond was too enticing to pass up. Unfortunately, the World Series wasn’t a realistic goal this year, and the organization recognized an opportunity to capitalize on a pitcher they didn’t need in exchange for a promising young bat. Manzardo has really heated up lately in Columbus, showcasing precisely why the Guardians made the move. This is clearly a trade geared towards 2024, and it has the potential to significantly boost the offense next year.

Bell Trade and Waiver Pickups

Marlins get: 1B/DH Josh Bell

Guardians get: INF Jean Segura and INF Khalil Watson

After acquiring Kyle Manzardo, it became evident that there was no place for Josh Bell in the 2024 roster. He underperformed during his short time in Cleveland, with many underlying metrics suggesting he experienced some unfortunate luck. Shipping Bell out to shed his contract, where he was owed the remainder of this year’s salary along with potentially another $16 million next year, was the obvious move. Khalil Watson is a talented prospect ranked #16 in the system with good speed and surprising power, while Jean Segura was simply included as a filler to facilitate the trade.

Since trade:

  • Josh Bell: 132 wRC+, .271 avg with .867 OPS
  • Khalil Watson: 91 wRC+, .210 avg with .685 OPS
  • Kole Calhoun: 105 wRC+, .253 avg with .733 OPS

All the numbers indicated that Bell had been very unlucky during his time in Cleveland, and this became immediately evident after he joined the Marlins. He has been highly productive and possesses the kind of bat that the Guardians could have really benefited from. However, he wasn’t performing as expected here, and the acquisition of Manzardo forced them to part ways with Bell while they still had some leverage. Additionally, Kole Calhoun wouldn’t have been added without trading Bell, and he has contributed more to the Guardians in four months than Bell did.

Watson has had his ups and downs but shows flashes of speed and power. Although he’s currently playing as an infielder, his profile might be best suited for the outfield. Overall, Bell is performing well in Miami, but the addition of Manzardo made it impossible to find playing time for Bell in 2024, and they acquired an exciting prospect in return for him.


The Guardians shifted their focus toward 2024 at the deadline and didn’t lose anyone expected to make a significant contribution. While Civale has been solid, the rotation already has Gavin Williams, Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, and Triston McKenzie penciled in for next year. Shane Bieber, Cal Quantrill, or Joey Cantillo can easily fill the fifth spot, making it a reasonable decision to capitalize on Civale’s value. Rosario is a free agent after this year and didn’t perform well enough to warrant retention, and there was no room for Bell with Kyle Manzardo and Josh

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