The Cleveland Guardians recently completed the signing of free-agent pitcher Ben Lively.
He had a 5.38 ERA with the Cincinnati Reds last season, in 88.2 frames.
The Guardians are virtually set on the pitching side, but bringing in Lively could signify that a Shane Bieber trade might be in the works.
Oddly, recent reports suggest that one of the teams the Guardians have been in conversations with regarding Bieber are the Reds, who previously employed Lively.
“Sources: Reds active on free agent and trade markets as they search for a starting pitcher. Shane Bieber, who has trained at Driveline this offseason, is one name they’ve checked on via trade. Michael Wacha and Lucas Giolito are among their FA options,” MLB insider Jon Morosi tweeted.
Sources: Reds active on free agent and trade markets as they search for a starting pitcher.
Shane Bieber, who has trained at Driveline this offseason, is one name they've checked on via trade.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 12, 2023
The Reds have already added a solid pitcher in Nick Martinez and a good reliever in Emilio Pagan.
However, they are still a starter or two short of realizing their full potential, and Bieber could very well give them a very solid staff.
The right-hander posted a 3.80 ERA in 128 innings, and that was one of the worst performances of his career.
That alone should tell you about his ace potential.
If he ends up going to Cincinnati, the Reds’ staff could look very, very good, with Bieber, Andrew Abbott, Hunter Greene, Martinez, Brad Williamson, Nick Lodolo, and others.
The Guardians, however, will likely need at least one impact, MLB-ready hitter to suit up and produce.
The Reds have plenty of infielders, but so do the Guardians.
Perhaps an outfielder would make some sense, but if the trade return knows how to hit and produces, the position will be somewhat irrelevant.