Taking a way too early look at potential Guardians trade chips
Last, but not least is Shane Bieber. If the team continues to be offensively challenged and fall back in the standings, the calls for Bieber will only increase as each day passes.
Bieber is still a really good pitcher who can be one of, if not the best pitcher on any given staff. This is just a very similar path that the Guardians have taken with pitchers before Bieber. With one arbitration eligible year remaining and an extension nowhere in sight, it is more about when and not if when it comes to a trade of Bieber.
From the perspective of Cleveland's front office, it is incredibly hard to justify a large extension to a player who has seen his velocity and his strikeout numbers decrease at a rate that is quite alarming. Even with those numbers dropping, Bieber has still proven to be a really good pitcher who will get paid when he hits free agency. It is possible for Bieber to live at the lower velocity and and get less outs via strikeout, but paying a large dollar figure to a pitcher like this seems to go against the still relatively risk averse nature of this front office.