It sounds as if the Cincinnati Reds' interest in Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow is waning. And with the Los Angeles Dodgers now making a pitch to land the right-hander, Cincinnati may need to turn their attention elsewhere if the Reds are hoping to secure a starting pitcher through a trade.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease is said to be available, but the asking price is astronomical. Though Cincinnati has the prospects to pull off such a deal, the Reds like their young talent, and would appear more likely to upgrade the rotation another way.
Shane Bieber has been linked to the Reds since the offseason began. The Cleveland Guardians starter is in the final year of his arbitration window and has some injury concerns, but Bieber is a former Cy Young Award-winner and would be a massive upgrade to the Reds rotation.
If the Reds and Guardians, who have been frequent trade partners in the past, were to work out a trade, what might it look like?
1. Reds trade for Shane Bieber in 1-for-1 deal with Guardians
Securing prospects in exchange for a frontline starter like Shane Bieber probably wouldn't be too popular with the Cleveland Guardians fanbase. But as is the case with teams who were looking to trade for Jonathan India, any club seeking to land Bieber is looking to contend now.
With that in mind, it's very unlikely that any team would be willing to sacrifice talent from their major leauge roster in a trade. The Reds farm system, however, is very deep and Cleveland would love to add a talented prospect or two in exchange in for Bieber.
There's an outside chance that Bieber could net a a Top 100 prospect in return, but considering the injury concerns after last season's IL stint, the Guardians are probably more likely to land a high-upside prospect from the lower minor leagues in a one-for-one swap.
With so many talented shortstop prospects within the Cincinnati Reds organization, president of baseball operations Nick Krall should be willing to part with at least one. While Edwin Arroyo would be far too much to send back to Cleveland in return, Leonardo Balcazar might be enough.
Many Reds fans are unfamiliar with the 19-year-old, but during his three seasons in the Reds organization, Balcazar has been one of Cincinnati's best young hitters. Balcazar's 2023 campaign was cut short following a knee injury, but once fully recovered, the infielder should get back to tearing the cover off the ball.