Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber is reportedly expected to be traded by the deadline according to three anonymous general managers, per ESPN's Jeff Passan. Passan reports that three GMs said they believe Bieber will be traded prior to August 1st, via Sports Illustrated's Tommy Wild. This isn't the first time Bieber has dealt with trade rumors, but the report makes a deal seem more likely to occur now.
Bieber has been solid, not great, so far during the 2023 campaign. Cleveland's former Cy Young winner currently owns a 3.72 ERA and 1.293 WHIP this season. He's been a workhorse though, leading the league in innings pitched and games started with marks of 75 innings and 12 starts. Additionally, he leads the league with 314 batters faced, per Baseball Reference.
Given his impressive track record and ace-caliber pitching prowess, Shane Bieber would draw no shortage of attention ahead of the MLB trade deadline if made available. The fact that he's only 28-years old and has one remaining year of team control would help the Guardians receive quite the return as well.
Guardians: Will Shane Bieber be traded?
Some Guardians fans may scoff at the report. Cleveland plays in a lackluster AL Central division and currently sit just 4.5 games out of first place. Fans may believe the Guards will hold onto Bieber with a chance to repeat as division champions.
However, we must remember what team we are talking about. Despite being consistent contenders for the most part since 2016, Cleveland has traded away Cy Young and All-Star caliber pitchers like Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, and Mike Clevinger. The Guardians play in a small-market which has them constantly in a rebuilding state of mind even while competing.
That said, a potential contract extension would keep Shane Bieber in Cleveland for the long-term. Jose Ramirez was likely going to be traded had the Guardians not agreed to an extension with the superstar third baseman last year.
There haven't been many reports of contract discussions though between Bieber and Cleveland. As a result, trading him ahead of the deadline would allow the Guards to receive a massive return.
Although it isn't guaranteed, don't be surprised if Shane Bieber is traded this season.