While most expected Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to be claimed by a contending team after being placed on outright waivers, the Cleveland Guardians stunned everyone.
Giolito had struggled with the Angels, with an ERA of more than six since the trade. Still, Cleveland is the only team that can repair their old AL Central rival's ace.
The Guardians pitching machine frequently produces top young talent. Giolito, an established All-Star caliber player, should only improve from his time in Cleveland.
Reynaldo Lopez, on the other hand, appeared to be the polar opposite. As valuable as Giolito may be at the top of any rotation, his recent troubles have caused some teams on the waiver wire to be concerned.
Lopez is a top-tier reliever who has flourished since joining the Angels. Lopez had a 2.77 ERA in 13 appearances with Anaheim, including two saves.
While he is unlikely to be a closer in Cleveland, he will almost certainly see plenty of action in the bullpen.
Cleveland has relatively tiny postseason prospects, despite what appears to be an elite-level troll by the Guardians.
As appealing as announcing Big Ten games was to Blackledge, a Canton, Ohio native, it was the network's attitude that eventually clinched the deal.