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Report: Bieber avoids arbitration with Guardians, agrees to $13.1M deal

Shane Bieber Cleveland Guardians Shane Bieber - The Canadian Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Guardians avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $13,125,000 contract for next season.

The Guardians also agreed to one-year deals with six other players Thursday, including first baseman Josh Naylor ($6.55 million) and pitchers Scott Barlow ($6.7 million), Sam Hentges ($1,162,000), James Karinchak ($1.9 million), Triston McKenzie ($1.6 million) and Nick Sandlin ($1,075,000).

Teams and their arbitration-eligible players exchanged 2024 salary proposals Thursday. Bieber, limited to 21 starts last season because of an elbow injury, finalized his deal ahead of the deadline. He made $10.1 million last year.

The 28-year-old Bieber has been the subject of trade speculation the past two seasons, and the right-hander may have been moved last year had he not gotten hurt.

While he's been their staff ace for several seasons, the Guardians know they probably can't afford to sign Bieber to a long-term deal, which is why they've considered trading him before he's eligible for free agency.

The AL Cy Young Award winner in 2020, Bieber went 6-6 in 2023 with a 3.80 ERA. In six years with Cleveland, he's 60-32 with a 3.27 ERA and has been an All-Star twice.

The 26-year-old Naylor hit .308 last season with 17 homers and 97 RBIs.