Guardians agree to one-year agreements with Shane Bieber, six others to avoid arbitration

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FILE – Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber pitches during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on September 6, 2022 in Kansas City, Mo. The Guardians reached an agreement with Bieber on Friday, January 13, on a $10 million contract for next season and avoided salary arbitration. (TBEN Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

The Guardians will not hold an arbitration hearing in 2023.

On Friday, the club agreed to one-year deals with all seven arbitration-eligible players on its roster — starting pitchers Shane Bieber ($10.01 million), Cal Quantrill ($5.55 million), Zach Plesac ($2.95 million ) and Aaron Civale ($2.6 million). ), shortstop Amed Rosario ($7.8 million), first baseman Josh Naylor ($3.35 million) and reliever James Karinchak ($1.5 million) – a source confirmed to the Beacon Journal.

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The added salary of $33.76 million brings the Guardians’ estimated payroll for 2023 to $91 million, according to FanGraphs calculations. It was $51 million in 2021 and $69 million last season, a steep drop after reaching $140 million in 2018 and $124 million in 2019.

Since payroll hit an all-time low two years ago, extensions were handed out to Jose Ramirez, Emmanuel Clase and Myles Straw, free agent deals were given to Josh Bell ($16.5 million for 2023 with a $16.5 million player option for 2024 ) and Mike Zunino ($6 million) and Friday’s seven signings have raised that number to about $40 million, though it’s still well below the team’s all-time high in the years leading up to the 2016 World Series.

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Bieber and Rosario, when it comes to upcoming decisions for the team to make, are the most notable names on that list. Bieber will become a free agent after the 2024 season, making him one of the few players on the roster who has not been under scrutiny for several years. This won’t be the first off-season where questions about a possible extension surround him, and unless something definitive happens next year, it won’t be the last.

Shane Bieber’s contract renewal with Guardians remains a question mark

Last season, Bieber again didn’t have the kind of speed he showed earlier in his career, but he’s also come a long way to prove he can succeed without it, posting a 2.88 ERA with 198 strikeouts in 200 at bats. That performance came on the heels of an injury-plagued 2021 season that (among other factors) played a role in the team choosing to stay away from Bieber in an effort to protect his shoulder in Game 5 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees.

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The Guardians know they have Bieber for two seasons, barring a trade. The next question is where he throws his first pitch of 2025.

Meanwhile, Rosario can become free transfer after this season. A number of factors play into whether the Guardians trade him, and it’s become a nuanced situation as the team balances its 2023 World Series hopes with their future plans at the position.

Ryan Lewis can be reached at [email protected] Learn more about the Guardians at www.beaconjournal.com/sports/cleveland-guardians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.

This article originally appeared in Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Guardians Avoid Arbitration with Shane Bieber, Six Others

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