The Chicago Cubs appear to be targeting a trade as they look to bolster their starting rotation this off-season.
Previous reports have had the Cubs looking to add two starting pitchers this winter. Recent speculation has pointed toward Tyler Glasnow of the Tampa Bay Rays. Glasnow is set to earn $25MM during the final year of his contract, leading to speculation that the Rays will move him this off-season in exchange for Major League-ready pitching.
Bieber has one more year of arbitration with the Cleveland Guardians before reaching free agency next off-season. The Guardians are expected to take a step back this season after the retirement of manager Terry Francona.
It would seem that the Cubs are involved in trade talks for both starting pitchers.
For a Cubs team that is prioritizing a pursuit of Shohei Ohtani, it makes sense the team is targeting pitchers with one season of team control left as opposed to signing a free-agent starting pitcher to a long-term deal this winter. Ohtani will be relegated to hitting only during the 2024 season, meaning if signed by the Cubs, the team would still need an answer at the top of their rotation next season.
When healthy, both Glasnow and Bieber are top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers. Each pitcher in Glasnow and Bieber have their concerns, however. Bieber's strikeout percentage has dropped considerably over the past three seasons as he had a mark of 33.1% during the 2021 season before it fell down to just over 20% last season.
With Glasnow, it's a matter of health as he has only pitched over 120 innings in a season once during his career. When healthy, though, Glasnow is a perennial favorite for winning the Cy Young Award.
The Major League Baseball winter meetings begin next week with the Cubs likely hoping to they will have an answer or two to some of their current question marks on the roster.