Guardians Claim Ramon Laureano off Waivers

Ramon Laureano waivers
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

On Monday, the Cleveland Guardians picked up 29-year-old outfielder Ramon Laureano off outright waivers from the Oakland Athletics. Laureano is now under club control with the Guardians through the 2025 season. They will also pick up the remainder of Laureano’s owed salary this season of $3.55 million.

Two years ago, it would’ve been hard to see the Athletics move on from a good veteran with a team-friendly contract like Laureano. Between 2018 and 2021, he batted a combined .263/.335/.465 (119 wRC+). In 2021, Laureano was suspended for 80 games due to PED use. Since then, he has struggled to get back to his old self. Since 2022, he’s missed time due to groin, oblique, and hamstring injuries. He also rehabbed from a broken hand. Since the suspension and four trips to the IL, he’s batted .212/.285/.371 in 158 games/629 plate appearances.

Laureano’s Value

Over the past couple of years, the Athletics have considered moving Laureano for the right value. Although he’s had his struggles, he still holds value. All the Athletics gain from this move that they are saving $1.07 million in cap space. This move may draw some upset A’s fans as Laureano is a guy that’s been with the team threw all the ups and downs of the last five seasons.

Rest of the Season

The last two months of the regular season will be the time for Laureano to show the Guardians that he can be the man moving forward. Their outfielders are batting a combined .248/.310/.342 this season, and the resulting 81 wRC+ (i.e. 19% worse than the average hitter) places the Guardians’ outfield 29th in baseball. The Kansas City Royals are the only team that trails them. Guardians’ outfielder, Steven Kwan, is hitting .273 with 38 RBI and has been a key part of Cleveland’s already limited offense. Buying low on Laureano is not a bad move and it makes sense for the Guardians to pick him up.

With the lack of production from outfielders, Will Brennan and Myles Straw, there is certainly a possibility Laureano becomes a key part of the Guardians’ offense.

 

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Nathan Leko

Senior student-athlete wrestler at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, covering the Cleveland Guardians and the AL Central.

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