As the 2023 MLB trade deadline draws near, the Cincinnati Reds have been rumored to be in the market for a starting pitcher.
With that being said, the Reds will undoubtedly be cautious when it comes to what they're willing to pay in terms of prospect capital.
When healthy, the Reds starting rotation has been very good. But injuries to Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo have taken their toll on Cincinnati's pitching staff. While the Reds should not become complacent at the trade deadline, acquiring a top-level starter would be too rich for their liking.
Acquiring Guardians pitcher Shane Bieber would cost too much in return for the Reds.
One of the best starting pitchers on the trade market this summer is likely to be former Cy Young Award-winner Shane Bieber. The Cleveland Guardians ace will be highly sought after for teams looking to upgrade their starting rotation at the MLB trade deadline.
Bieber is just 28 years old and, seemingly, still in his prime. Although Bieber has seen some regression since his Cy Young season in 2020, he's still a top-tier starter in the league. Bieber does not become a free agent until after next season, so the Guardians' ace is much more than a two-month rental.
Shane Bieber's 'trade status' at this year's deadline should be viewed in a very similar light to Luis Castillo in 2022. The former Cincinnati Reds right-hander was dealt to the Seattle Mariners in July of last year and netted Cincinnati a huge return of prospects including Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo.
If the Guardians are looking to get a package anywhere near what the Reds received last year, Cincinnati will be out of any potential trade discussions. The Reds are looking forward to get future contributions from their top prospects, and the young talent it would take in order to land Bieber would likely be off limits.
This doesn't mean that the Cincinnati Reds won't make a move at the deadline, as there's still a possibility Nick Kall and the front office will look acquire a starter. But if Reds fans have their hearts set on a deal for Shane Bieber, they should probably adjust their expectations.