MLB Rumors: Guardians' Shane Bieber 'Could Be Had'; Trade Price Is 'Exorbitant'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 27, 2022

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The Cleveland Guardians have not closed the door on trading Shane Bieber—it's just one of those heavy bank vault doors you'll have to push really hard to get open.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Bieber "could be had" ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, but a team would have to meet the Guardians' "exorbitant" asking price.

Bieber is 4-6 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, striking out 110 batters in 111.2 innings this season. While his underlying numbers indicate he's gotten unlucky, Bieber is striking out batters at a career-low rate and pitching well below his 2020 Cy Young form.

The 27-year-old has seen his velocity dip and is averaging only 90.9 miles per hour on his fastball. That's down from an average of 94 miles per hour during his Cy Young campaign.

Bieber also ranks significantly below average in average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage and spin on his curveball. The downturn in the effectiveness of his stuff led to some concern early in the season about his health, but Bieber has already topped his 2021 start total and appears fine.

That said, these underlying concerns may make opposing teams not value Bieber as highly as the Guardians. After looking like a bona fide yearly Cy Young contender in 2019 and 2020, Bieber has been merely a pretty good pitcher over the past two seasons.

Cleveland has two years of team control remaining on Bieber's contract after the 2022 campaign, so it has no urgency to make a move. On the other hand, if the organization feels Bieber's dip in velocity is a precursor to something more serious—or just an overall dip in play moving forward—exploring a trade while his value is still high might be a smart move.


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