It's in everyone's best interest for the Cleveland Guardians to trade Shane Bieber now

Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Guardians
Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

When it comes to the proposition of trading Shane Bieber, "if" went out the window a very long time ago. It seems to be only a matter of time before the Cleveland Guardians trade the 2020 Cy Young Award winner, and it would be in the best interest of everyone to get it over with sooner rather than later.

Teams have been circling the Guardians recently, much like vultures around a carcass in the desert, waiting to make their move ever since the season ended. As the winter continues to drudge along and with the big move of the offseason out of the way (Shohei Ohtani to the Los Angeles Dodgers), the time has come for the Guardians to enter into the discussion of big moves that will reshape the organization.

While there can be argument made for the Guardians waiting for some sort of leverage coming by way of a trade of Tyler Glasnow or Corbin Burnes, there is a very good chance they have already tipped their hand and lost any high ground they have had with a recent signing. It has less to do with the caliber of Ben Lively as a pitcher and more to do with the Guardians signing him to a major league deal instead of a minor league deal with an invite to spring training and a chance to make the roster.

Adding a veteran into the mix to help the very young pitching staff in Cleveland once Bieber is dealt makes a ton of sense, although someone with a much better track record than Lively would have been preferred. Unfortunately, this transaction appears to have some sort of correlation to the very public financial concerns of the ballclub and may be rooted in their desire to cut payroll with the uncertain revenue situation in Cleveland.

Bieber's arbitration salary is not going to be cheap, and finding a way to potentially cut $10 million off that number would fit right into the cost-cutting motivations they appear to have this offseason. This is far from ideal and not what anyone wants, but it is also the unfortunate reality of the situation.

Nobody expects Bieber to be on this roster beyond the trade deadline, with just a few holding out hope he is on the roster for Opening Day. But it seems like a trade of Bieber is coming quickly, and it would not be a surprise, given the history of the organization when it comes to situations such as this.

It would be best for the Guardians, Bieber, the fans, and whichever team acquires Bieber to just get this deal out of the way now and stop dragging their feet. This is a roster that has some serious issues, and getting their big trade out of the way now will allow for everyone to turn their attention to the next area on the team that needs to be addressed. Continuing to wait will only result in lackluster additions, if any, that barely move the needle, if at all.