Guardians trade Nolan Jones, a former top prospect, to Colorado for INF Juan Brito

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Nolan Jones, once Cleveland’s No. 1 minor league, is traveling to Colorado in a trade that will send infielder Juan Brito to the Guardians.

Jones, who made his major league debut in Kansas City on July 8, was the organization’s second-round pick in the 2016 draft and was ranked top of Cleveland’s farm system in 2020. However, injuries hampered his progress in the club’s player development system. When he debuted, Jones had missed parts of two seasons with surgery on his right thumb in 2019 and left ankle in 2021.

In 94 plate appearances in 28 games, Jones hit .244 with two homers and 13 RBI. He went eight times and hit 31 with a .681 OPS. At Columbus, he hit .276 with nine homers and 43 RBI in 55 games.

The 21-year-old Brito spent 2022 at High-A Fresno and averaged .286 (115 for 402) in 107 games with 29 doubles, six triples, 11 homers and 72 RBI. He finished fourth in the California league in doubles (29), sixth in on low pct. (.407) and eight in the RBI (72). The Switch-hitting middle infielder owns a three-year professional batting average of .295 (179-for-606) with 36 2B, 9 3B, 17 HR and 109 RBI in 169 games. He is currently ranked as the 30th best prospect in Colorado according to the MLB Pipeline.

Brito was added to Cleveland’s 40-man roster upon his acquisition.

The Guardians made a series of roster moves and swaps Tuesday ahead of Major League Baseball’s deadline for clubs to finalize their 40-man rosters ahead of next month’s Rule 5 draft. In addition to trading Jones, Cleveland passed Carlos Vargas to the Diamondbacks in exchange for right-hander Ross Carver.

The club also appointed left-handers Kirk McCarty and Anthony Gose to the squad, and added left-handers Tim Herrin, Joey Cantillo and infielder Angel Martinez to the 40-man roster.

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