Grading a blockbuster Orioles-Guardians trade that seems obvious

The Baltimore Orioles proved their desire to win by trading for Corbin Burnes this past offseason. But could they go above and beyond and pluck Shane Bieber away from the Cleveland Guardians?

Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Guardians
Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles have proven their desire to win after doing so 101 times during the regular season in 2023.

The team was later swept in the ALDS by the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers. But they took measures to avoid another disappointment, acquiring Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers.

However, what if another trade takes place? Could there be room for the Orioles to pull off one more blockbuster deal before the season starts?

Could Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber be a fit in Baltimore?

On Tuesday, Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report proposed six possible last-minute blockbusters that could happen before Thursday's slate of games begins. One such proposal had Bieber going to Baltimore along with outfielder George Valera in exchange for Colton Cowser.

Grading a potential Guardians-Orioles swap

The proposed trade would be a big one for the Orioles. They would be able to add a second ace to their starting rotation and further cement themselves as a true World Series contender.

Miller points out that parting with Cowser is something the Orioles may be reluctant to do with Anthony Santander set to hit free agency this coming offseason and Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins set to do so after 2025.

However, Valera could help offset some of that and be another big piece brought back in a potential deal between these two teams.

One thing to note about Bieber is that since his Cy Young season in 2020, Bieber's strikeout rate has plummeted, and he has struggled with various injuries. He missed a good chunk of last year with elbow inflammation.

On the Guardians' side, Cowser could give them a solid outfield option to build around. He hit six homers this spring for the Orioles, which is more than any Guardians outfielder hit all of last season.

The Guardians also already have Triston McKenzie and Tanner Bibee under team control for several years, so it wouldn't be too costly to lose Bieber with the right-hander in his walk year. They could also use some outfield help after getting rid of center fielder Myles Straw. The team is lacking in depth on the position player side and has plenty of options on the pitching side.

This would be a good move for both teams. Baltimore would get another frontline starter, while the Guardians would bolster their offense and add depth to their outfield.

Grade for Orioles: B
Grad for Guardians: B+

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