top of page
file.jpg
  • Cary Greene

Trading with the Guardians for Shane Bieber

by Cary Greene

January 14, 2024

***

Okay, here goes…the Yankees still need starting pitching and they could also use a legitimate closer so they can use Clay Holmes as a bridge man. The Guardians have 28-year-old righty Shane Bieber, who Baseball Trade Values rates as being worth a mere $5.6 MTV, under contract for the 2024 season, after which he’s vamoose. He accepted $13.125 million in what is his final year of arbitration eligibility.  

 

It’s a big year for Bieber, who has steadily been losing a little velocity (2.7 mph) on his fastball since his 2021 peak. I have a sneaking suspicion that Bieber is likely worth quite a bit more than what BTV lists him as being worth. His 2024 salary is fairly substantial and that, combined with an off (for him) season in 2023, are probably the reasons for BTV having a bearish take on Bieber’s value.  

 

Yankees rumblings suggest that reuniting Bieber with Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake might pay dividends as it could potentially help Bieber return to 2022 form. I’ve studied this potential and I think there is at least some merit to the idea. Blake is likely not going to help Bieber find the velocity he’s lost, but he might impact him with pitch selection and location.  

 

A big reason Bieber has featured his 4-seam fastball 22.2 percent less than he did back when he broke out in 2018 is that the pitch is no longer as good as it once was. He’s also locating his 4-seamer heart of the plate and in to right-handed batters, getting away from moving it to all quadrants of the zone like he used to. Acknowledging that he’s lost velocity, Blake might be able to help him get back to playing off the fastball more and that might mean some tweaks would be in order.  

 

Considering the Guardian’s needs to greatly improve their lineup and also replace Bieber with a controllable starter, should they decide to move him, it’s widely believed that the Guardians may look to not only extract maximum value for Bieber but they also may include soon to be 26-year old closer Emmanuel Clase ($51.4 MTV) in order to get as much value in return if a trade partner was to materialize. This idea was floated by  James Rapian from Inside the Reds a few days after Christmas. Besides the Reds, a number of other teams desperate for starting pitching are surely circling the Guardians like buzzards as they check in on Cleveland’s willingness to dangle Bieber.  

 

What is clear is that Yankees and Guardians do match up in a possible trade. Considering that well north of $57 MTV would need to be ponied up in prospects in a deal of this size and scope, and weighing what the Guardians would want in return - controllable starting pitching and a serious boost to their offense, a successful Yankees proposal isn’t all that far fetched to imagine.  

 

Seeing as how the Guardians posted a MLB worst .630 OPS last season when batting right-handed and were actually pretty solid when batting left-handed (.732 OPS - 5th in the League), they would certainly want any deal such as this to change that narrative.  

 

While the Yankees don’t have a lot of right-handed pop to offer Cleveland, given that Spencer Jones and Jasson Dominguez are probably both off limits, they do have Anthony Volpe ($58 MTV), who was not long ago rated as MLB’s best pure hitting prospect by MLB.COM. It may sound very painful to Yankees fans that I even mention Volpe, but it’s likely that the Guardians reject most other potential Yankees packages.  

 

Try as I might to believe a deal centering on Clarke Schmidt ($19.7 MTV), Oswald Peraza ($14.7 MTV) and Everson Pereira ($12.7 MTV), plus other nearly ready pitching that Cleveland might view favorably as lottery tickets almost, would get a deal done - I struggle to see the Guardians wavering on asking for the Yankees reigning Gold Glover - Volpe.  

 

Would Cleveland consider Schmidt/Peraza/Pereira and perhaps Will Warren ($9.7) or Ian Hamilton ($6.8 MTV) and Clayton Beeter ($2.3 MTV) instead of a simple Volpe for Bieber and Clase deal? On one hand, the Guardians would get a starting infielder, a possible starting outfielder and a rotation piece while adding either a high leverage reliever and or a potential starter. That’s a lot of right-handed help, perhaps it would be too much to turn down for Cleveland’s GM Mike Chernoff.  

 

Let’s discuss trading for Beiber in the comments below today!  

48 Comments


Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Jan 15

With various insiders all believing that the contention minded Guardians aren't interested in dealing Bieber away in any straight up deals, it's becoming more and more clear Cleveland may expand a Bieber trade, in order to extract the type of return that they surely will want.


This means Bieber for this and that player type proposals wouldn't likely be considered by the Guardians. They want A LOT MORE than that type of paultry return for their Ace. This is why it's widely considered that if they were to trade Bieber, a larger deal would need to materialize.


It's clear the Yankees want Bieber as a starter. It's clear the Yankees would also like Clase - to close. Its likewise clear…


Like

Chris D.
Chris D.
Jan 15

You can't give up Volpe, Jones or Dominqez!!! Pick a few others... I'll even throw in Stanton and pay half the salary if he's ok with that.. 😜

Like
Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Jan 15
Replying to

All realistic points Blog!

Like

Brian Mosher
Brian Mosher
Jan 14

I'll mention this because it's in the news, even though it's not germane to the topic of the piece.


Neris is a steady reliever, but from what I saw of him while he was with the Phils, he's kind of streaky and sucks at high leverage. Knowing other Yankees fans like I do, I think he'd make most of us insane. Back of the baseball card, yeah, he's a steady presence, but he's at best a set-up guy, not a closer.


He's done well with the Astros it seems, but he used to give up a TON of HR's when under pressure. Maybe he unlocked something in Houston, or maybe he was used in less leverage situations, pitching more against…


Like
Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Jan 15
Replying to

I have a feeling the Yankees are out on Hader completely - as in - from A to Z. Mainly due to $$, but they probably don't like him as a fit in the clubhouse.

Like

jeff
Jan 14

I will pass, because I would prefer they fill those needs through free agency, rather then by further decimating the farm system. It's so important to build a "core" of prospects who will one day be the "core" of the big league club, the way that Jeter, Posada, Pettite, Leyritz, Mariano Rivera, and Bernie Williams were in the 90's, which resulted in MULTIPLE championships and many additional years in which the team at least made it to the World Series, and many more years when, at the very least, they finished in first place. Besides being a "CORE", these prospects also represent the depth of the organization that will be needed in the event of injury to the starting playe…

Like
Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Jan 15
Replying to

I love the detail in your post Jeff. I did a piece a long while ago, maybe a year or more back, where I explored what it would look like if the Yankees doubled down on their youth movement. Most of the Yankees division rivals build controllable positional rosters with their farm systems, then mostly trade to aquire other needed pieces while turning to free agency to fill in the cracks in their rotations.


Historically of course the Yankees under Brian Cashman prefer not to use their farm systems much and instead, they like to create rosters dotted with a few star players, then they surround the expensive stars with below replacement level types. Cashman's current approach hasn't worked yet…


Like

Brian Mosher
Brian Mosher
Jan 14

I think they're going to keep trying, but I see them punting on rotation upgrades (not moves but upgrades) until the price on guys like Bieber and Burnes, maybe even Wheeler, come down in the short rental market.


If I'm Hal, I want to see this new Yankees team do better than fighting for a wildcard before giving away any more long-term cost controlled assets.

Like
Anthony Flynn
Anthony Flynn
Jan 15
Replying to

That being the case the team may never escape the mediocrity they’ve embraced.

Like
dr sem.png

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)

blog+image+2.jpeg

Have a question for the Weekly Mailbag?

Click below or e-mail:

SSTNReaderMail@gmail.com

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

587611.jpg
583250.jpg
Scattering the Ashes.jpeg

"Scattering The Ashes has all the feels. Paul Russell Semendinger's debut novel taps into every emotion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll reexamine those relationships that give your life meaning." — Don Burke, writer at The New York Post

The Least Among Them.png

"This charming and meticulously researched book will remind you of baseball’s power to change and enrich lives far beyond the diamond."

—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Ali: A Life

From Compton to the Bronx.jpg

"A young man from Compton rises to the highest levels of baseball greatness.

Considered one of the classiest baseball players ever, this is Roy White's story, but it's also the story of a unique period in baseball history when the Yankees fell from grace and regained glory and the country dealt with societal changes in many ways."

foco-yankees.png

We are excited to announce our new sponsorship with FOCO for all officially licensed goods!

FOCO Featured:
carlos rodon bobblehead foco.jpg
bottom of page