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Kyle Manzardo traded to the Cleveland Guardians

The former Coug is the latest to be moved before MLB’s trade deadline.

Washington State Athletic Communications

Former Washington State Cougar Kyle Manzardo has been traded to the Cleveland Guardians organization in a deal that sends pitcher Aaron Civale to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Manzardo, 23, has spent the 2023 season on the Rays AAA team, the Durham Bulls. In Durham, Manzardo has posted a .238/.342/.442 slash line with 11 home runs, 38 RBIs and a 93 wRC+ in 73 games. He last played on July 6th before being placed on the injured list with an undisclosed injury. That injury prevented Manzardo from appearing in the 2023 MLB Futures Game in Seattle during the MLB’s All-Star Week. Manzardo becomes one of the latest players to be dealt ahead of MLB’s trade deadline, set for August 1st at 3 P.M. PST.

The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho native spent three seasons on the Palouse appearing in 115 games and posting a career slash line of .336/.404/.533 with 16 home runs and 105 RBIs. He earned first-team All-American honors in his 2021 junior season, becoming the first Coug to do so since Aaron Sele in 1990.

After being drafted in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft by the Rays, Manzardo has flown through the minor league systems. He wrapped up the 2021 season in the complex league, appearing in 13 games and started the 2022 season in High-A. He played in 63 games before being promoted to the AA team to finish the season. In that 2022 season, Manzardo finished with an above .300 average on both the High-A and AA teams, earning him the Tampa Bay Rays Minor League Player of the Year.

Manzardo should rank as the highest 1B prospect for the Guardians upon arrival and likely one of the highest ranked overall. He is currently projected to debut during the 2024 season if all goes according to plan, providing the Guardians with a great bench bat and depth to current first basemen Josh Naylor and Josh Bell. For this season, once Manzardo recovers from his injury, he will likely be Columbus bound to play for the Guardians AAA team, the Columbus Clippers.