Only one pitcher in baseball under 25 had more strikeouts last season than Jack Flaherty. Only one pitcher in baseball under 25 had 15 wins last season besides Dakota Hudson. It’s not Walker Buehler. It’s Cleveland Indians ace, Shane Bieber.
In his rookie season, Bieber started 19 games, going 11-5 with an ERA of 4.55. Respectable, but nothing extraordinary. In his second year (2019)? Bieber went off. An All-Star for the first time, Bieber’s 259 strikeouts and 15 wins resulted in a 4th place finish in Cy Young voting. His three complete games led the American League, as did his two shutouts. Check out this MLB.com article for more information on the best young pitcher you might not have heard of.
As the Indians have recently traded away both Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, they probably don’t want to lose any more starters. However, Cleveland traded those talented players because they didn’t have a high enough payroll to keep them around.
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Bieber is arbitration-eligible in 2022, so putting him on this list might be a few years too early. With other star players like Fransisco Lindor up for a big contract soon, though, the Indians might be persuaded to move Bieber for a good offer.
One would assume the price for Bieber would be astronomical. The Cardinals have a relationship with the Cleveland front office, though, having completed four deals with each other since 2013. In addition, the Indians gave up Bauer and Kluber for very little. It is generally agreed that they lost on the Kluber deal, and the Bauer deal hasn’t done too hot either.
You can never have too much pitching, plus a rotation headlined by Flaherty and Bieber would be one of the best in the game. Sadly, until Bieber’s contract is slightly larger, the Indians will do whatever they can to hold onto their ace. In the words of another famous Bieber, however, Never Say Never.