Nov. 18—The Guardians have been staying busy since the World Series ended, first by introducing Steven Vogt as their new manager Nov. 10 and following that with moves that aren't headline grabbers but that should make them a better team for 2024.
De Los Santos spent two seasons with the Guardians after signing as a minor-league free agent in 2021. The Dominican Republic native recorded a 3.18 ERA and went 10-2 in 120 relief appearances. He pitched 119 innings with one save, 123 strikeouts and 42 walks.
Barlow is 30 years old. He started the 2023 season with the Royals and was dealt to the Padres for prospects Jesus Rios and Henry Williams at the Aug. 1 trade deadline. He was a combined 2-6 with a 4.37 ERA in 63 relief appearances. He posted a 3.07 ERA in 23 outings with San Diego.
"We're excited to add Scott to the organization," Guardians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said Nov. 18 on a Zoom call. "We had a chance to compete against him for a number of years while he was with Kansas City.
"We view Scott as a guy who can come in and help us in late innings. He has experience closing. He's pitched in a lot of leverage situations. Hopefully he can be a key piece for us in the bullpen, especially in those times when games are close and late. We didn't perform as well in the late innings and lost a lot of those close games (in 2023)."
Barlow will be used as a closer on days when Emmanuel Clase is not available or fatigued, Antonetti said. Clase led the majors in games finished (65) and saves (44) in 2023. But he also led both leagues with 12 blown saves.
In another move, the Guardians signed outfielder Ramon Laureano to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration. Laureano was claimed off waivers from the A's on Aug. 7. He hit .243 (33-for-136) with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs and 14 RBI in 41 games with the Guardians.
Earlier in the week, the Guardians added pitchers Cade Smith and Daniel Espino to the 40-man roster to prevent them from being snatched away in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 6. In corresponding moves, pitchers Cal Quantrill and Michael Kelly were designated for assignment. The Guards then traded Quantrill to the Rockies for minor-league catcher Kody Huff. Huff, a 2022 seventh-round draft pick by the Rockies, played with Colorado's Single-A team in Fresno, Calif., in 2023. He hit .262 with five home runs and 36 RBI.
"We're excited to add Kody to our system," Antonetti said. "We liked him in the draft as well. He has a really good reputation defensively. He does a really good job leading the pitching staff, and we feel there's upside to him offensively."
The Guardians are still looking for a third base coach and a bench coach. Those positions could be filled soon, Antonetti said.