Former GM Jim Bowden suggests star Atlanta should trade for

As MLB’s Winter Meetings approach, former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden has proposed a trade scenario for the Atlanta Braves, suggesting they acquire pitching reinforcements. Writing for The Athletic, Bowden outlined six trades he’d like to see happen, and one involves the Braves making a deal with the Cleveland Guardians to acquire right-handed pitcher Shane Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young winner.

Bieber, 28, had a challenging season in 2023, marked by an elbow injury that led to his worst statistical performance since his debut in 2018. He posted a 6-6 record with a 3.80 ERA in 21 starts, pitching 128 innings. Notably, his strikeout rate dipped to a career-low 7.5 batters per nine innings, totaling 107 strikeouts, along with 34 walks (2.4 walks per nine innings) and 14 home runs (1.0 home run per nine innings).


Despite the setback, Bieber is a two-time All-Star and has received Cy Young votes in three different seasons. The proposal envisions a potential rebound for Bieber with improved health and a change of scenery. His standout season was in 2020 when he achieved an 8-1 record with a league-best 1.63 ERA, securing the AL Cy Young. In that shortened season, Bieber led MLB in ERA, FIP (2.07), strikeouts (122), and strikeout rate (14.2 K/9). He also boasted the lowest hits per nine innings (5.4) in the American League, and his 273 ERA+ topped all qualified AL starters.

Heading into the 2024 season, Bieber has one year of contractual control remaining, having earned just over $10 million in arbitration in 2023. MLB Trade Rumors projects his salary to be $12.2 million in 2024.

The suggested trade scenario by Bowden implies that the Braves could benefit from Bieber’s potential resurgence, providing them with a seasoned arm for the upcoming season. As the Winter Meetings approach, it remains to be seen whether the Braves will explore such a deal to strengthen their pitching rotation.

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