This is a deal involving a couple of odd players. Civale, a 28 year old righthanded starter, would appear on the surface to be having a breakout year for the Guardians, putting up a 2.34 ERA so far this year after having a 4.92 ERA last year. However, Civale’s xERA and FIP in 2022 was 3.80 and 3.87, compared to 3.67 and 3.55 this year. Also, his K rate has dropped significantly, while his walk rate has ticked up. His success is due to allowing a .242 BABIP, as well as just a 5.6% HR/FB rate, neither of which would seem to be sustainable.
Civale is under team control for two more years after this one, so that helps provide value. Civale also has had a hard time staying healthy, though — he has just 13 starts this year after making just 20 starts (and pitching just 97 innings) in 2022. His career high in innings came in 2021, when he had 21 starts and 124.1 IP.
Its all very strange. Civale has value, but it is hard to get a good handle on what you would expect him to do going forward.
In exchange, the Guardians are getting Manzardo, who was ranked in the 60-80 range on top 100 prospect lists coming into the season, and who is currently #69 on the BA top 100 list. A 2021 second rounder out of Washington State, Manzardo put up a 1043 OPS between high-A and AA last season, but has slashed just .238/.342/.442 in 2023. He’s only played first base both in college and in the pros, and there are apparently some questions about how much power he is going to end up having.
So it seems like an odd deal, made even odder by the fact that the Guardians are currently just a half game out of first place in the American League Central. Of course, the Guardians can seemingly materialize pitchers like Civale out of thin air, so maybe they figure they’ll root around in their cushions and find a replacement for him.