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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Is Shane Bieber An Option?

by Paul Semendinger

January 13, 2024

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It has been said that the baseball team from Cleveland just might be interested in trading right-handed pitcher Shane Bieber.


I am not interested in developing a proposed trade, the ones fans make-up almost never come to fruition. They're fun, and all, but that's not my purpose here.


Rather, as I did the other day with my article on Marcus Stroman, I'll simply look at Bieber's career and most recent years and make a case on way or the other.


The Good:

  • Shane Bieber was, at one time, in 2020, the very best pitcher in the American League. He didn't simply win the Cy Young Award in 2020, he won the pitching Triple Crown.

  • Shane Bieber has never had an ERA+ under 100 in any season.

  • For his career, Bieber's average ERA+ is 131.

  • Last year was Bieber's worst season ever, and yet he still had an ERA+ of 110.

  • In a down year, Bieber still made 21 starts

  • 2023 was a down year, but just two years ago, Bieber was 13-8, 2.88 with 200 innings pitched.

  • In 831 career innings, Bieber has struck out 938 batters (or an average of 10.2 per nine innings).

  • Over those 831 career innings, Bieber has walked only 187 batters. (As a point of comparison, heading into 2023, Blake Snell had pitched 812 innings and had walked 352 batters.)

  • In the Stroman article, I noted that Marcus Stroman is a pitcher that doesn't win many more games than he loses. That isn't the case with Bieber whose career record is an amazing 60-32.

  • Bieber's lifetime ERA is 3.27

  • Bieber will be entering his age-29 season. (He's still young - he's only 9 months older than Clarke Schmidt).

  • Bieber will be a free agent after the 2024 season - and only earn $13.125 million in 2024 - making the commitment to him short and very inexpensive

  • Shane Bieber's best season came when he worked with Matt Blake, the Yankees' pitching coach


The Not So Good:

  • Shane Bieber did not have a great season in 2023 (6-6, 3.80).

  • Year-by-Year Bieber's ERA+ has gone down:

    • 2020: 273

    • 2021: 136

    • 2022: 131

    • 2021: 110

  • Bieber's strikeouts-per-nine-innings have also gone down year-after-year:

    • 2020: 14.2

    • 2021: 12.5

    • 2022: 8.9

    • 2023: 7.5

  • Bieber made only two starts in the second-half of 2023.


My Take:


Shane Bieber's poor 2023 is of great concern. He had elbow inflammation and did not pitch much in the season's second half. One concern with the Yankees' 2024 rotation is that it already contains players who the team is hoping bounce back from injury filled seasons last year. Bieber would not be an exclamation point or even a period, he would be another question mark. How many question marks can a team have if it wants to compete for a championship?


All that being said, when he's right, Shane Bieber is one of the best pitchers in the league. He's an ace.


I believe the Yankees still need a second big-time pitcher for their rotation. The signs, more and more point to Blake Snell being the only available pitcher who fits that category. But, it looks like, unless he reduces his salary demands, Snell is asking for too much.


Without Snell, and with Marcus Stroman now a Yankee, I am all-in on Shane Bieber (assuming he passes a rigorous physical examination - the Yankees don't have a great history in dealing with injured players).


I believe Bieber would cost less in prospects that Dylan Cease or Corbin Burnes.


Assuming the parameters above, I think Shane Bieber would be a great fit.


This looks like a championship-type rotation:

  • Gerrit Cole

  • Marcus Stroman

  • Shane Bieber

  • Carlos Rodon

  • Nestor Cortes

  • Clarke Schmidt (as the next guy up)

8 commentaires


jeff
14 janv.

It seems like the Yankees focus has shifted away from starting pitching now that Marcus Stroman is on the team. Word is, the Yankees are all in, and very much in the running, to sign reliever Hector Neris, who won a World Championship with Houston and could be the 9th Inning CLOSER the Yankees really need. (Clay Holmes is better suited for the setup, 7th & 8th inning, role). Neris had an impressive 1.71 ERA in 68.1 innings. Either Neris, or else, I wouldn't mind seeing the Yankees sign Josh Hader for that closer role. And I would like to see them re-up with Wandy Peralta, who was a very useful, very effective, bullpen piece these past few seasons.

J'aime

fuster
13 janv.

Paul, you darn well KNOW, in the wake of signing Stroman, that you want to see the Yankees come away more a more sure-fire starter than Bieber.


I can fully understand opting to go cheap for Bieber AFTER fully exploring ....and failing to reach agreement with.Snell's agent and falling to swing a deal for Burnes or Cease


but just as Kluber looked good until he broke down, Bieber might serve nearly as well as Kluber did for the Yankees

for a while

J'aime

Patrick Kissane
Patrick Kissane
13 janv.

Does anyone else wonder why Cleveland pitchers seem to be worse, or hurt when they leave Cleveland? Kluber, Clevenger, Carrasco, Clease, etc. Hard no on Bieber!

J'aime

jjw49
13 janv.

He fits the Cashman profile on maybe a 2yr. deal!

J'aime

Alan B.
Alan B.
13 janv.

Remembering that Cashman has admitted to minimizing or disregarding the medicals on Montas, are we really ready to take another chance on another pitcher who's health us in question? Oh, in between they somehow passed Rondon to give him a 6 year deal.

J'aime
Jonathan Silverberg
Jonathan Silverberg
13 janv.
En réponse à

What I remember is not minimizing or disregarding...worse: he denied knowing about his bad shoulder, something that was published in west coast papers and available via the sports apps (of course, only to major industry insiders like me)... either he was lying or his "information" explains a lot.

J'aime
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