The Cleveland Guardians need to improve their offense.
The whole league knows it.
However, the circuit also knows that they boast one of the best, deepest pitching staffs in the league.
They can use one or two hurlers as trade bait to bring in an impactful improvement for their lineup.
That’s why the Guardians have been open to dealing Shane Bieber, who is projected to make just over $12 million in 2024 during his last season of salary arbitration.
Bieber and Cleveland haven’t agreed on a contract extension, and with that being the case, he is a prime trade candidate.
MLB insider Ken Rosenthal recently spoke about Bieber and how the Guardians need to decide what to do with him, as seen below via Twitter.
Ken Rosenthal on Shane Bieber 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/tmrSDsEmzs
— Clay Collins (@ClayCollins028) December 19, 2023
Rosenthal says that Bieber’s “reputation in the industry has regressed since his 2020 AL Cy Young.”
“His velo is down, his results aren’t quite what they were, and teams don’t see him in the same way,” he explained.
Bieber missed several weeks of the 2023 campaign with arm issues, and when he was healthy, he wasn’t quite his most dominating self.
In 128 innings, he had a 3.80 ERA and 107 strikeouts.
In his first four seasons in MLB, Bieber finished with more strikeouts than innings pitched.
That hasn’t been the case in 2022 and 2023, although he was close in 2022.