Cleveland Guardians predicted to trade Shane Bieber to NL Central contender

Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Guardians
Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

There are certain storylines that are going to be a recurring theme for the Cleveland Guardians in 2024, and a potential trade of 2020 Cy Young Award Winner Shane Bieber is the most common. With the regular season drawing closer with each passing day, discussions regarding potential landing spots for Bieber will only grow in number, and today is no different.

Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller made an attempt at Predicting Where Top Players Involved in MLB Trade Rumors Will Finish '24 Season, with Bieber making an appearance on that list. While there are some entries who are not predicted to move, Bieber is not one of them, as Miller predicts a trade with the Chicago Cubs to come to fruition at some point in 2024.

Whether or not the Guardians are in contention seems to be inconsequential here, as Cleveland's clear need for an upgrade in the outfield was mentioned by Miller. "Even if the Guardians are in the running for a postseason berth, though, there's a decent chance he could get traded, as the Guardians do have quite the stable of young starting pitchers who they could ride to the finish line if they can flip Bieber for, say, an outfielder who can actually homer from time to time.".

While the criticism of Cleveland's lack of outfield power seems harsh, it is incredibly valid. This is an outfield group that is not going to hit home runs on a consistent basis. Reaching double-digit home runs from one of their outfielders is not entirely out of the question, but it would be a bit of a surprise considering Steven Kwan and Will Brennan led the group with five apiece last season. Finding a way to get someone who can hit 10 or more in a single season would be a big-time addition to their lineup and should help drive in runs via the long ball on a more consistent basis.

There is a chance that the Guardians could hang on to Bieber for the entire season and navigate his impending free agency when the time comes, but unless they have a good feeling about a possible new contract being done, they should be somewhat aggressive when it comes to fielding trade offers during the season. If the front office can find a way to acquire an impact bat for someone who is not guaranteed to be extending his stay in Cleveland beyond this season, it would be hard to argue against making a deal that improves the organization's outlook in the short and long term.