Orioles Named Among ‘Potential Fits’ for Projected $95 Million Ace

Baltimore Orioles

Getty Shane Bieber pitching against the Oakland Athletics on March 28.

With four wins in six games, the Baltimore Orioles are riding the momentum of their 2023 year as far as it will take them. Will they need a blockbuster trade to reach new heights?

Arguably no team is better equipped to pull one off, as they demonstrated in acquiring Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Who is available that could help this young team forget last year’s Divisional Series elimination to the Texas Rangers?

Bleacher Report’s Zach D. Rymer cast his vote for Cleveland Guardians arm Shane Bieber.

In a March 8 column for The Athletic, senior writer Tim Britton set an extension for the right-handed pitcher at five years, $95-million.

He put it under the “Both sides should hold off” tier, reinforcing the idea that with one last season under team control, Bieber is likely moving on in 2025.

Rymer: Shane Bieber Looks Like ‘Cy-Young Award-Winning Self’

In an April 2 column discussing MLB‘s best trade chips, Rymer made his case for teams that could be “potential fits” for the starting pitcher.

He listed him as the sixth-best trade chip in the entire league after injuries derailed his 2023 campaign.

“Two of his last three seasons have been cut short by injury, and he didn’t even average 92 mph with his heater in 2022 or 2023,” Rymer wrote. “But on this front, at least, Bieber looked a lot more like his Cy Young Award-winning self in his 2024 debut. Albeit against a weak Oakland Athletics lineup, he pitched six scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts against one walk.”

Since Rymer’s piece was published, the Cleveland ace also struck out nine batters in a win over the Seattle Mariners.

The Orioles are listed front and center as a potential fit team that should take interest, along with the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees.

But unlike the other teams Bieber is continually named in rumors to Baltimore.

In a March 28 roundtable column for CBS Sports, columnist Matt Snyder predicted the Orioles will swing a deal for the Guardians’ pitcher at the trade deadline.

“I’ll go Orioles for Bieber after the trade deadline,” Snyder told his colleagues. “Mike Elias already swung a deal for a rental pitcher in Corbin Burnes and showed that he could deal from prospect depth without touching the highest levels of his prospects in order to do so. Bieber will be similar, in that Elias can outbid most other teams without really hurting their stature as the farm system king.”

The depth of Baltimore’s farm system isn’t lost on any of the other 29 teams.

They have three prospects in MLB’s top-31, and they’re crushing it in the Triple-A system.

That being said, do the Orioles need another pitcher? They did just acquire Burnes in February, and Grayson Rodriguez is picking up where he left off in 2023.

State of the Orioles Bullpen

Through one turn of the entire starting rotation, Baltimore’s bullpen is looking much better than last year.

Burnes is the only starter who’s pitched multiple games. Through 11-plus innings, he’s struck out 14 of 45 batters faced.

Rodriguez had a nice showing in a March 30 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The 24-year-old threw 57 strikes in six innings and struck out nine of 22 batters faced.

Then there’s Dean Kremer, Tyler Wells and Cole Irvin. They’re less flashy names but have each had their moments with the Orioles.

Adding Bieber to the mix, who has a career 3.22 ERA, could alter the trajectory of this team. In a way that meets their World Series aspirations.

Read More