The likelihood that the Cleveland Guardians end up trading starting pitcher Shane Bieber is seemingly increasing by the day. Rumors involving the former Cy Young Award winner are only going to increase in volume and frequency as the Winter Meetings come and go. With that being said, some proposed deals would make sense for the Guardians, while there are others that would be wise to take some advice from Regina George and stop trying to make them happen. The latest proposal from a former MLB Executive and current contributor to The Athletic would fall into the latter category.
A trade of Bieber is included as one of the six deals that Bowden would like to see happen during the Winter Meetings. Bowden has identified the Atlanta Braves as a potential trade partner for the Guardians. Two different proposals are made by Bowden, as he seems desperate to find a way to get Bieber to Atlanta.
The first proposal is pitching prospect Spencer Schwellenbach and infielder Vaughan Grissom. Schwellenbach spent all of 2023 in A-Ball, while Grissom spent most of last season with Triple-A Gwinnett. This could be a package that could be intriguing to some teams but not for the Guardians at this moment. Cleveland trading away one of their top-of-the-rotation starters for a pitching prospect who is yet to advance beyond Single-A and an infield prospect who possesses a skillset that is very similar to what they already have in their system does not make much sense. The Guardians are going to need immediate help rather than a pitching prospect who may be in their rotation down the line and an infielder who would appear to be a very redundant addition.
There are two other proposals from Bowden, which further emphasizes the desperation on his end to find a way to get Bieber to Atlanta. It is acknowledged that Cleveland may not be interested in the above-mentioned deal (which is a very likely outcome), so a straight-up proposal for A.J. Smith-Shawver is also proposed, alongside the possibility of involving a third team that could net the Guardians the outfield bat they are obviously in search of. It took three tries, but Bowden finally reached a logical return for Cleveland.
The only issue with his third proposal is that, as Bowden notes, Atlanta does not have a corner outfielder bat with power they can send to Cleveland. This pokes a massive hole in his quest to have Bieber end up in Atlanta. If the Braves do not have the proper players to make a deal happen and a third team needs to be involved, why not just bypass Atlanta entirely and strike up a deal with this hypothetical imaginary third team? It would make a lot more sense for Cleveland to directly discuss Bieber with a team that could fulfill their trade requirements rather than unnecessarily involve the Braves to make Bowden's proposals become a reality.