CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Guardians announced the following transactions in advance of today’s 40-man roster protection deadline:
Selected RHP Cade Smith from Triple-A Columbus and RHP Daniel Espino from Double-A Akron, adding the duo to the 40-man roster.
Designated RHP Michael Kelly and RHP Cal Quantrill for assignment.
Espino, 22, entered the 2023 season as the consensus top prospect in the Guardians organization, the 16th-overall prospect in MLB according to MLB.com. Daniel did not pitch last season due to right shoulder surgery in May after experiencing right shoulder soreness prior to reporting to Spring Training. He owns a career Minor League ERA of 3.57 in 33 starts over his three professional seasons (133.2IP, 89H, 53ER, 221SO, .184 avg against), averaging 14.9 strikeouts per 9.0 IP over his career. The Panama City, Panama native was Cleveland’s first round selection (24th overall) in the 2019 MLB Draft after a stand-out prep career at Georgia Premier Academy in Statesboro, GA. In 2022, he posted a 2.45 ERA in 4 starts at AA Akron (18.1IP, 9H, 5ER, 35SO), striking out 51% of the batters he faced (35 of 68) before being shut down for the season on April 29 due to knee and shoulder soreness.
Smith, 24, owns a three-year Minor League ERA of 3.61 with 33 saves in 124 relief appearances (167.0IP, 117H, 67ER, 262SO, .195 avg, 14.1 K/9) since making his professional debut in 2021 at Single-A Lynchburg. He split the 2023 season between AA Akron and AAA Columbus, recording a 4.02 ERA in 47 games (62.2IP, 54H, 28ER, 95SO,13.6 K/9). He led organizational pitchers in appearances and saves (15). The Abbotsford, British Columbia native was signed by Cleveland as a non-drafted free agent out of the University of Hawaii following the abbreviated five-round 2020 MLB Draft. In 2022, he recorded 13 saves and a combined 2.93 ERA in 44 relief outings (61.1IP, 38H, 20ER, 99SO, 14.5 K/9, .178 average) between High-A Lake County and AA Akron.