The Cleveland Guardians should sign two outfielders
Only center fielder Myles Straw should be a lock for a starting spot on the Cleveland Guardians’ 2022 roster. The club currently has a mix of Bradley Zimmer, Oscar Mercado, Steven Kwan, Josh Naylor, and George Valera on their 40-man roster to fill in at the outfield corners.
The Guardians are very much in need of a right-handed hitting power bat to plug into their outfield. Previously linked to Mark Canha who recently signed with the Mets, they should now move their attention to arguably the next best outfielder that can be had at a reasonable price.
Tommy Pham, now 33 years of age, is a pretty nice player even as he gets up there in age. Possessing a combination of double-digit home run potential and the ability to steal 10+ bases a season, Pham is also (mostly) capable of playing all three outfield positions. His best fit on the Guardians roster would probably be in left field.
In 2021, Pham hit 15 home runs and stole 14 bases, making defensive appearances at all three outfield spots and putting up a 2.0 oWAR next to a -1.0 dWAR. While these numbers may be enough to lower his asking price in free agency, he should still be a sneaky good pick for the Guardians should they look to pursue him.
With Pham in tow, rookie Steven Kwan looks to be the best of the bunch available to play right field for the Cleveland Guardians. While he will for sure get at least a look in MLB in 2022, the Guardians should probably look to the free agent market for one more low-cost outfielder.
Corey Dickerson, Kevin Pillar and even Andrew McCutchen could be had for a low-cost contract should Cleveland look to add one more outfielder. None of the trio carry much star-power behind their name like they used to (primarily McCutchen), but they’d at least prove to be upgrades over Bradley Zimmer and Oscar Mercado.
McCutchen would give the Guardians a solid right-handed pat to platoon with any of the left-handed outfield options. The now-35 McCutchen lit up lefties in 2021, hitting 15 home runs in 86 games while putting up a slash line of .293/.405/.622 against southpaws.