The MLB trade rumor mill is heating up as the winter meetings approach and several frontline starting pitchers could be on the move. Multiple teams are looking to add to their rotations and there are plenty of names to keep them occupied throughout the winter, including Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber and Tampa Bay Rays righty Tyler Glasnow.

It is widely expected that both of them will be traded this offseason with teams already inquiring about them to the Guardians and Rays respectively. Among those clubs are the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs, two NL Central foes looking to snap three-year playoff droughts.

According to Jon Morosi, both the Reds and Cubs are engaged in active conversations with the Guardians and Rays for moves involving Bieber and Glasnow.

Why the Cubs are a fit

The Cubs narrowly missed the playoffs last season, finishing one game behind the eventual National League champion Arizona Diamondbacks for the final wild card spot. Pitching wasn’t exactly their downfall, though Chicago posted an ERA above four in each of the last two months of the season.

The Cubs went 12-17 in September and October, losing ground in both the NL Central and wild card races. Their starting pitchers went 7-8 with a 4.50 ERA during that span, doing so without All-Star Marcus Stroman for the majority of it, who only pitched eight innings after July.

Stroman is a free agent and could move on from the Cubs, though there is mutual interest in the two for a return. If he decides to go elsewhere, Chicago would definitely need some pitching and is no doubt in the market for an ace.

Shane Bieber gives them a true No. 1 to pair with Justin Steele at the top of the rotation. Though his strikeout numbers are down a bit in recent seasons and he only has two years with more than 130 innings under his belt, Bieber is one of the best in the game and is in line for a monster contract.

The Cubs have spent money in recent years and will have openings if they lose Stroman and Cody Bellinger. Trading for Shane Bieber makes sense for them.

Why the Reds are a fit

Rays, Tyler Glasnow

The Reds had one of the worst pitching staffs in the MLB last season but still managed to stay in the playoff hunt entering the final weekend of the season. Though they were unable to clinch a postseason berth, Cincinnati gave their fans plenty to cheer about in 2023 and even headed into the All-Star break in first place in the NL Central.

After letting go of franchise legend Joey Votto, the Reds owe it to their fans to make a big move. The Reds currently have the second-lowest projected payroll for 2024. They have a crop of young stars who need a few veterans to complement them. Tyler Glasnow is owed $25 million next season and could be a face of the franchise type of player if he remains healthy.

Cincinnati is very interested in Glasnow and will be aggressive in their pursuit after missing out on a reunion with Sonny Gray. The Reds have had three All-Star starting pitchers in the last ten years. Glasnow could join those ranks in 2024.