Three players the Guardians should think twice about extending

Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game Five
Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game Five / Elsa/GettyImages
5 of 5

1. Shane Bieber

This is the most controversial and perhaps unpopular name on this list. This is not about what Shane Bieber has done and it is certainly not personal.

Bieber is a very good pitcher, but he is not the Cy Young Award Winner from 2020. Strikeouts have dropped every season since then, from 14.2 in 2020 to 8.9 last season with 2023's 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings through five starts represents a career-low.

Then there is the topic of velocity. Like strikeouts, Bieber's velocity has also dropped, from 94.2 in 2020 to the current 90.9 in 2023. Even though Bieber's control has drawn comparisons to Greg Maddux in the past, it is hard to be that type of pitcher in 2023. Control is great, but there is a certain velocity that is almost required nowadays that appears to be escaping Bieber as his career progresses.

With just one more arbitration eligible year remaining and the potential contract Bieber could receive from a new team following a trade or via free agency, it would not be surprising to see some rather unpopular discussions coming following this season. The combination of what Bieber could/should get on a new deal and the continued decrease in velocity and strikeouts would make any front office tentative about signing him to an extension.