The Cleveland Indians announced Monday that they acquired outfielder Brandon Guyer from the Tampa Bay Rays for prospects with just a little over an hour remaining in Major League Baseball’s trade deadline. 

In 63 games this season, Guyer is batting .241 with seven home runs and 18 RBI. 

His acquisition gives the Indians a better depth option in the outfield behind Jose Ramirez, Rajai Davis and Lonnie Chisenhall. Tyler Naquin has been a stellar fourth option, batting .335 in 70 games this season.

But behind him, an early-season injury to Michael Brantley, the struggles of Collin Cowgill that saw him get demoted to the minors and the 162-game suspension of Marlon Byrd on June 1 forced the Indians to rely on a mediocre Abraham Almonte and an inexperienced Erik Gonzalez. 

In a combined 24 games this season, those two have put together a .250 average with one home run and three RBI. 

While Guyer’s numbers don’t suggest much at first glance, his bat could be a big difference-maker when used in the right situations. 

Against left-handed pitchers this season, he’s hitting .344 with a .488 on-base percentage and a 1.082 OPS, which could help improve Cleveland’s already solid .271 batting average against lefties.

On top of that, he’s been hit by a league-leading 23 pitches, as he finds ways to get on base. He spoke about it with FanGraphs’ David Laurila: “I’m just trying to get on for the big boppers behind me. I’ll take one for the team any day.”

For an Indians team that entered Monday with a 60-42 record and a 4.5-game lead over the Detroit Tigers for first place in the American League Central, Guyer’s acquisition is the kind of depth move that could round out the roster as Cleveland prepares for a postseason run. 


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