Three questions for the Cleveland Guardians after being eliminated from the postseason

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The Cleveland Guardians won the American League Central, but they won't be playing the Houston Astros for the AL pennant, falling to the New York Yankees in Game 5 of a hard-fought division series.

So what's next for the Guardians after exiting the 2022 MLB playoffs? Here are their most notable free agents, potential trade candidates -- and three key questions facing Cleveland as it heads into 2023 and beyond.

Cleveland Guardians

Notable free agents: C Austin Hedges

As baseball's youngest team, most of the Guardians' roster consists of players still in their controllable seasons. Plus, franchise cornerstone Jose Ramirez has been signed for the long term. So the free agent concerns for the club are very mild.

Trade candidates: SP Shane Bieber, SS Amed Rosario

The Guardians' ability to produce quality pitching out of their scouting and development system continues to be among the best in baseball. Once again Cleveland was able to put together a postseason club even though big names of the recent past like Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Mike Clevinger and Trevor Bauer were pitching elsewhere or not at all. That makes Bieber's situation interesting. Is he the one guy the Guardians are going to try to lock up? Well, he's nearing the end of his arbitration window, so if that's not the case, now would be the time to move him. Yet it feels like an odd thing to do when you have just won your division, so perhaps Cleveland will let it ride, and if it falls off during the first half of next season, the Guardians can see what Bieber could yield on the trade market around the deadline. Or, even better, they could just sign him up to serve as the ace of their rotation for years to come.