The free-agent market for starting pitchers has picked up over the past couple of days with big names like Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray being taken off of the board. As a result, anyone who missed out on their guy could now turn to a potential trade to fill their needs instead.
That should make it no surprise, then, that trade rumors involving Cleveland Guardians SP Shane Bieber are heating up.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are eyeing Bieber, as well as Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow. However, Morosi also notes they're just "among the teams active in trade conversations" about those two pitchers, so there's more suitors we don't know about just yet.
It's not a shock to hear those looking to upgrade their rotations are suddenly pivoting to Bieber. Entering the offseason the former Cy Young winner was believed to be one of the most likely Guardians players to be on the move with him slated to hit free agency in 2025.
That would give the Guardians just one more year with the two-time All-Star before he potentially departs for nothing, so exploring a deal now to extract as much value as possible makes a ton of sense.
Bieber has obvious appeal given the accolades he's racked up in six seasons as one of Cleveland's aces. He is coming off of a down 2023 campaign that saw him post his second-highest ERA (3.80) and highest FIP (3.87) of his career while going 6-6, though the Guardians' roller coaster of a year didn't help.
With a combined ERA of just 2.70 from 2020-2022 and having age on his side at only 28 years old, Bieber provides the exact kind of trade target contenders will pay up to have for a playoff run. Saying goodbye to such a dominant talent would hurt, but the significant haul Bieber could net in an offseason deal should help take some of the sting out of his departure.
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