CLEVELAND — The 2022 MLB Traded Deadline is less than a week away and the Cleveland Guardians are expected to be active.
But while the biggest trade rumors have linked the Guardians to Washington Nationals star Juan Soto, the reality remains that Cleveland is just as likely to be a seller as it is a buyer.
And if that's the case, one of the team's biggest names could be on the move.
Writing about which pitchers could be on the move between now and the Aug. 2 deadline, ESPN's Jeff Passan wrote that the Guardians would be willing to trade starters Zach Plesac and/or Aaron Civale. Passan, however, noted that Cleveland would also be willing to listen to offers for its ace, Shane Bieber -- although the team's asking price on a return would be sizable.
Writes Passan: "Cleveland, as it has done every year for seemingly a decade now, is willing to trade its controllable starting pitching -- namely right-handers Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale. Even Shane Bieber could be had, but that's more about Cleveland's long-standing willingness to talk about anyone -- for the right price. For Bieber, that price is exorbitant."
While Bieber has been one of the Guardians' best pitchers since making his Major League debut in 2018, the idea of Cleveland trading him for a high-priced return could make some sense.
Currently, the 2020 American League Cy Young Award winner remains under team control with the Guardians through 2024, meaning that now would be the best time for Cleveland to maximize its return on a potential trade. What's more is that the reality may be that at this point, Bieber doesn't currently fit into the Guardians' timeline to return to contention.
That's not to say that Bieber will be on the move or that he's more likely to be traded in the next week than Plesac or Civale. But if another team comes calling, the Guardians will be listening.
How good the offer is will determine how long they stay on the phone.