According to MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required), the trade market for Shane Bieber isn't as red-hot as some may believe. Rosenthal classified Bieber as "seemingly in lesser demand," than the likes of Corbin Burnes and Dylan Cease.
That's good news for the Cincinnati Reds, as president of baseball operations Nick Krall is still looking to bolster the team's starting rotation before heading into spring training next year.
The fact that Bieber is not in high-demand would suggest one of two things; either clubs are leery of his elbow injury from last season, or the Cleveland Guardians' asking price is too high. Either way, that tends to favor the Reds.
MLB Insider reveals surprising trade market as Reds eye deal for Shane Bieber
The Los Angeles Dodgers just traded two prospects (Jonny Deluca and Ryan Pepiot) to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Manuel Margot. The Dodgers then signed Glasnow to a five-year extension worth over $130 million.
That is a high price to pay for a starter who's recorded 120 innings pitched once during his major league career. After seeing what Tampa Bay was able to acquire for a pitcher who, like Shane Bieber, has his own injury concerns, the Cleveland Guardians may decide to stand pat with what they have.
Unlike the Tampa Bay Rays, who were trying to get out from underneath Tyler Glasnow's $25-million payday, the Guardians aren't in a tough spot financially with Bieber. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that the right-hander will earn $12.2 million next season before entering free agency.
Ken Rosenthal does mention, however, that the uncertainty surrouding the Guardians' television deal with its regional sports network as a reason the club may want to move Shane Bieber this offseason. Cleveland could also hang on to Bieber in hopes of him reestablishing his trade value.
With Tyler Glasnow having been traded and Yoshinobu Yamamoto likely to sign very soon, those teams who missed out will begin to panic. Though the Cincinnati Reds have already signed Emilio Pagán and Nick Martinez this offseason, one more pitcher would greatly improve the team's roster.
Look for the Reds to remain active in trade talks with the Guardians. But unless Cleveland lowers their asking price or Cincinnati is willing to take on the risk of trading for a pitcher with injury concerns, these conversations may be placed on the back burner.