Luck ditches ex-Yankees top prospect Estevan Florial again, Guardians dump OF

Michael Bennington
Saturday June 1, 2024

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The Cleveland Guardians have made a significant roster move, opting to designate outfielder Estevan Florial for assignment to clear a spot for the return of outfielder Steven Kwan from the injured list, as reported by Zack Meisel of The Athletic.

Estevan Florial, acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade last December involving right-hander Cody Morris, earned a place on Cleveland’s Opening Day roster despite being out of minor league options. However, since joining the Guardians, he has been struggling to find his form. In 36 games played, he’s posted a disappointing slash line of .173/.264/.367.

While Estevan Florial has displayed glimpses of power with three home runs, six doubles, and two triples, his ongoing battle with consistency at the plate is evident in his alarming 36.9% strikeout rate. This struggle with strikeouts has plagued him throughout his major league career, with Florial striking out in 33.5% of his 245 plate appearances thus far.

Estevan Florial’s luck runs out again

This issue isn’t new for the 25-year-old outfielder. Even during his successful stint in Triple-A with the Yankees organization in 2022-23, Estevan Florial struggled with strikeouts, striking out in three out of every ten at-bats. Despite efforts by the Yankees to address his contact issues in the minors, he has yet to overcome this obstacle.

Estevan Florial, player of the New York Yankees.

While Estevan Florial’s blend of power and speed has long been promising, his current major league batting line of .192/.291/.329 raises concerns. Additionally, being out of minor league options means he cannot be sent down without first clearing waivers. While another non-contending team might take a chance on him via a waiver claim, it’s unlikely that a postseason contender would be willing to offer him significant playing time given his developmental needs.

The Guardians now have a week to explore their options with Estevan Florial, including trading him, placing him on outright waivers, or releasing him. Should he clear outright waivers, he has the right to reject the assignment and pursue free agency, having been outrighted previously by the Yankees in April 2023.

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