The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner gives the team a chance to win every time he takes the mound and also serves as a leader on such a young starting rotation.
Unfortunately, some fans may already be worried about Bieber’s future after the team traded Francisco Lindor this offseason.
One positive is that the ace made it clear he is willing to have contract talks with the Indians.
Shane Bieber said he hasn’t yet had dialogue with Cleveland’s front office about a long-term extension, but he’d be open to it and hopes those conversations take place.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) February 22, 2021
This is a great first step toward actually keeping Bieber here for his entire career.
The Current Contract Situation
Bieber cannot leave the Indians for quite some time.
He doesn’t even begin arbitration until 2022 so that means he won’t hit free agency until after the 2024 season.
But 2022 is when he is going to start making real money.
And if the Indians don’t have a new deal in place after the 2023 season we may see a repeat of the Lindor situation.
That is the last thing both sides should want.
Signing Bieber to an extension soon should be a top priority for the Indians.
It would buy out all three of his arbitration years and keep him in town for what should be the prime of his career.
Even something like a seven-year deal worth up to $150 million would be a bargain given what the ace could earn on the open market one day.
The question now is if ownership ever even wants to hand out a contract like that.
An Eventual Contract Extension
The Indians reportedly offered Lindor a deal worth over $200 million.
He obviously wanted more, but it showed a willingness to offer serious money to a star player.
The team can now offer less money to someone like Bieber and do so early in his career.
There are just so many questions with the ownership of the team.
Is the impending name change a signal that the Dolans are planning to sell?
Will normal revenues actually cause them to spend on someone like Bieber?
Learning more about the current state of the ownership will help shed light on the plans for someone like Bieber.
At some point in time the Indians are going to sign someone to a deal worth $100 million or more.
It just has to happen, right?
Lindor was likely asking for a deal that would have kept him in Cleveland until he was 40 years old.
It is fair to argue the team was wise to avoid such a commitment.
A deal for Beiber would not be for a decade-plus and allows the Indians to avoid any major rebuild after losing one star player.
He clearly wants to stay in Cleveland and ownership should realize that letting him go would be a monumental mistake.