Ranking the 3 best options to upgrade the Reds rotation without breaking the bank

Whether through a trade or free agency, the Reds still have opportunities to bolster the starting rotation.

Cleveland Guardians pitcher Lucas Giolito
Cleveland Guardians pitcher Lucas Giolito / Ron Schwane/GettyImages
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2. The Reds could trade for Shane Bieber without breaking the bank

Not everything is about the money. Trading for Shane Bieber might cost the Cincinnati Reds a few prospects instead. But with such a deep farm system, would it really be the end of the world if the club gave up a player like Carlos Jorge in order to swing a deal for a former Cy Young Award-winner?

After seeing Tyler Glasnow traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bieber may be the next top-of-the-rotation starter to change addresses. Strangely enough, no club has been linked to Bieber more than the Reds. Perhaps these MLB Insiders know something we don't.

It's not as if Cleveland and Cincinnati haven't made trades in the past. Brandon Phillips, Trevor Bauer, and Will Benson all came to the Reds organization by way of a deal with the Guardians.

Bieber is estimated by MLB Trade Rumors to take home about $12.2 million. As was the case with Glasnow, trading for Bieber does not come without risk. The right-hander experienced elbow inflammation a year ago that shut Bieber down for the better part of two months.

If healthy, Shane Bieber is a much better pitcher than Tyler Glasnow. But after watching a decrease in his velocity last season, there are serious questions about Bieber's long-term health. Bieber has also been said to be willing to enter into contract extension talks. That, however, might break the bank.