The Cleveland Guardians are looking to trade Shane Bieber.
It’s not a secret to anybody: he is on an expiring contract, the team considers his contract demands too high for an extension, and they risk losing him for nothing when next season ends.
In addition to those arguments, starting pitching depth is well covered in the organization, with rising stars Tanner Bibee, Triston McKenzie, Gavin Williams, Logan Allen, and talented pitchers like Xzavion Curry, Ben Lively, and Hunter Gaddis completing the depth chart.
The New York Yankees have a big need for starting pitching, and have their offense covered.
They even have some position player prospects that might interest the Guardians: Everson Pereira, Ben Rice, and others that might be off-limits such as Jasson Dominguez.
As Larry Fleisher of Forbes explains, a trade between the two teams makes plenty of sense.
“Shane Bieber could be made available by the Cleveland Guardians and it is possible the Yankees may become involved in trade talks,” Forbes SportMoney tweeted.
— Forbes SportsMoney (@ForbesSports) January 3, 2024
Bieber, who was affected by elbow inflammation last season and was limited to 128 innings of work, posted a rather high (for his excellent standards) 3.80 ERA.
The 2020 AL Cy Young winner has a 3.27 ERA in 134 career appearances but, as Fleisher notes, “the Guardians have a history of trading those pitchers with the most notable being 2008 when CC Sabathia was sent to Milwaukee and 2009 when Cliff Lee was sent to Philadelphia.”
Fleisher also notes that if the Yankees trade for Bieber, they would be reuniting him with pitching coach Matt Blake, who was the Guardians’ assistant director of pitching development a few years ago.
The match is perfect, theoretically speaking.
In practice, the Guardians might be overvaluing him in trade talks, and other teams might be trying to lowball Cleveland.
It’s the nature of negotiations: perhaps the Guards find a taker in the upcoming weeks.