10 players you forgot were on the Guardians

December 1st, 2021

There has been a plethora of big-name players who have donned the Guardians' uniform for a short period of time, whom many have forgotten. MLB.com has gone back in time (since 1995) to remember some former Major Leaguers who had impressive careers elsewhere, but were briefly a part of the organization.

Cecil Fielder, 1998
After an outstanding start to his seven-year stint in Detroit by leading the Majors in both RBIs and homers in 1990 and '91, Fielder spent over a season with the Yankees before landing in Anaheim for the majority of the '98 season. The Angels decided to designate the three-time All-Star for assignment in August and Cleveland picked him up for the remainder of the year. But Fielder never quite panned out with the Guardians, hitting just .143 in 35 at-bats with one double and no RBIs. Those 14 games that he played in for the organization were the last of his 13-year career.

Dave Winfield, 1995
Winfield's Hall of Fame career lasted 22 seasons, playing with the Yankees for nine years and the Padres for eight. The other stops along the way included short stints with the Twins, Angels, Blue Jays and Guardians. Winfield was traded from Minnesota to Cleveland during the Major League Baseball strike in 1994. Once play resumed in '95, the then-43-year-old closed out his career hitting .191 with two home runs and four RBIs in 46 games with the club. Despite putting up the worst numbers of his career in that final season, the 12-time All-Star still posted a career average of .283 with 465 home runs and 1,833 RBIs.

Johnny Damon, 2012
And yet another big-name player who finished his career in Cleveland. In his 18 Major League seasons, Damon played for seven different teams, including the Guardians. After six years in Kansas City to begin his career, the outfielder is most likely known for his four-year stints in both Boston and New York. But, in 2012, Damon added 64 games with Cleveland to his professional resume. Cleveland first signed the free agent to a Minor League contract, before he officially got the call to the big league squad on May 1. In 224 plate appearances, Damon slashed .222/.281/.329 with four homers and 19 RBIs. The then-38-year-old was then released by the club on Aug. 9, ending his career.

Derek Lowe, 2012
Lowe was coming off a rough season with the Braves, leading all pitchers in losses with a 5.05 ERA, but he was still able to make an MLB-leading 34 starts in 2011. Atlanta traded him to Cleveland at the end of that year and the right-hander went 8-10 with a 5.52 ERA in 119 frames through August. After those first four months with the organization, Cleveland then released Lowe on Aug. 10 and he was signed by the Yankees three days later. The hurler ended up finishing his 17-year career in Texas in 2013.

Jason Giambi, 2013-14
Giambi is often remembered for his time with the Athletics and Yankees, but don't forget he played for Cleveland in both 2013 and '14, although the latter was mostly spent on the disabled list. Giambi elected free agency at the end of the 2012 season with the Rockies and was signed by Cleveland to a Minor League contract the following February. In '13, Giambi experienced his first season hitting under the Mendoza Line, slashing .183/.282/.371 with eight doubles, nine homers and 31 RBIs in 71 games. In '14, the then-43-year-old was plagued with injuries, including a rib fracture, strained calf and knee inflammation, limiting him to just 26 total contests in his final season of his 20-year career.

Orlando Cabrera, 2011
The former Montreal Expo made a quick cameo in Cleveland in 2011. The club signed the second baseman in February, and he hit .244 with 13 doubles, four homers and 38 RBIs in 91 games before Cleveland traded him to San Francisco at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in exchange for left fielder Thomas Neal. One of Cabrera's long balls came on June 27 with two outs in the top of the ninth inning and the game tied at 4, leading the team to a 5-4 victory against the D-backs. After finishing the season with the Giants, Cabrera announced his retirement during the 2011-12 offseason.

Aaron Boone, 2005-06
The current Yankees manager and former Reds infielder also donned the Cleveland' uniform for two seasons. Boone did not play any professional baseball in 2004 due to a knee injury, but he was signed by the Guardians that June in preparation for the 2005 season. In 143 games in '05, Boone hit .243 with 16 homers -- including his 100th career long ball on June 28 at Boston -- and 60 RBIs. The infielder played in 104 more contests in '06, when he slashed .251/.314/.370.

Sean Casey, 1997
Known for his eight years in Cincinnati, it's easy to forget that Casey made his Major League debut with Cleveland. The first baseman was selected by the organization in the second round of the 1995 MLB Draft from the University of Richmond. In September of 1997, Casey got his first callup to the big leagues and picked up a hit in his first Major League at-bat on Sept. 12 against the White Sox. He was then traded to the Reds prior to the '98 season in exchange for right-hander Dave Burba.

Carl Pavano, 2009
Pavano had an All-Star season in 2004, posting a 3.00 ERA in 222 1/3 innings pitched and 31 starts with the Marlins. But the next three seasons in New York were not as successful. The right-hander went 4-6 with a 4.77 ERA in '05 before missing all of '06 and the majority of '07 and '08 due to a variety of injuries. Cleveland picked him up for the '09 season, but after logging a 5.37 ERA in 21 starts, the club traded him to Minnesota on Aug. 7.

Kerry Wood, 2009-10
After 10 years with the Cubs to start his Major League career, the Guardians signed Wood prior to the '09 season. The right-hander had just made the transition to becoming the Cubs' closer in '08 and kept the same role with Cleveland the following year. He recorded a 4.25 ERA with 20 saves in 58 total appearances in his first season with the organization. In 2010, he had eight saves and posted a 6.30 ERA in 23 appearances before the club traded him to the Yankees at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Wood's career came full-circle in 2011, when he rejoined the Cubs for the final two seasons of his 14-year career.