Tale of the Tape Breakdown: Playoff Contenders, Mariners vs Guardians

Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Guardians
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Josh Bell
Cleveland Guardians Photo Day / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Mariners vs Guardians: Cleveland's Offseason Summary

Heading into the offseason, the Guardians were able to have a successful season, but had their most glaring weakness exposed in October. With the second-lowest team home run total and zero players getting to the 30-homer mark, they simply couldn't keep up in a 5 game series with the New York Yankees.

There were only two moves made this offseason in Cleveland, but they were big ones. The Guardians signed 1B/DH Josh Bell, as well as former Mariner catcher Mike Zunino. Josh Bell is a solid power bat, but is an excellent switch hitter, averaging 131 OPS+ in his past three full seasons (82 OPS+ in the 2020 Covid season). Bell is exactly the kind of player that I had as a target for the Mariners in free agency. His playoff experience, his versatility, and his ability to take some pressure off of Ty France at 1st base would have been huge. 

The signing of Mike Zunino could also be an extremely underrated one. In 2021, Zunino smacked 33 home runs in 109 games for the 100-win Tampa Bay Rays. Last season, Zunino only played in a handful of games before having season-ending surgery. I was surprised to see Zunino leave Florida, but Cleveland is a fantastic landing spot for him to bounce back.

It's possible Cleveland will see a sizable jump in power to their offense. This could be really bad news for not just teams in the AL Central, but the entire American League.