Cleveland Indians: 3 players the Tribe must ink to long-term deals this offseason

Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Indians, SP, Shane Bieber

For the first time in his career, Shane Bieber will enter the arbitration process for the Cleveland Indians this offseason. While his injury this season will bring his price down a bit, the Tribe are surely going to have to pay up for the defending American League Cy Young.

Playing on rookie deals, Bieber has cost the Tribe a combined total of less than $2.15 million since entering the majors, and that includes his signing bonus. He’s signed on for just $623,200 this year, but once arbitration kicks in, that price will jump each year from now until the 2025 offseason when he becomes a free agent, assuming he continues to play at this level. That is, however, if he doesn’t sign long-term.

It will cost the Tribe a bit more now, but signing Bieber long before he hits free agency could be a key move. He’s still only 26-years old, so signing him to a six-year deal could be more than worth it. For Bieber, he makes more money now while still being more than capable of being a top pitcher, in his early-to-mid 30s, when entering free agency. For the Tribe, they get to keep Bieber for an extra three years or so on what will eventually be a bargain deal.

The barrier will be convincing the front office to do it. It would likely cost in the range of $8 million more in Bieber’s salary in the short-term, but the sustained security could be more than worth it.

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