2 reasons why the Braves should trade for Shane Bieber, 1 why they should avoid him

The Braves find themselves connected to yet another rotation arm on the trade market.

Sep 22, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) delivers
Sep 22, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) delivers / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Bieber's recent injury history should be a big red flag for the Braves

The one thing that the Braves have to keep in mind and make sure they get right is what to make of Shane Bieber's recent injury history. Pitchers are already a risky proposition without any previous issues on their record, so a guy like Bieber who has dealt with arm troubles without going under the knife yet could be too big a risk to take on.

In 2021, Bieber threw just 96.2 innings coming off his Cy Young award due to a shoulder strain that put him on the shelf for basically the entire second half. After throwing 200 excellent innings in 2022, 2023 saw the injury bug bite him yet again as elbow inflammation took him out from mid-July through September.

Injuries happen quite a bit and very often, players can bounce back from them without too many long-term concerns. However, there have been signs that those injuries and all those miles on Bieber's arm are causing him to regress significantly. His strikeout rate has dropped by 33% or more the last couple of seasons from where it was at the height of his powers and his fastball in particular has performed worse and worse over time including a slight steady decrease in his average velo over the last few years.

At the end of the day here, what matters is what the Braves see as fixable. If all of the medical examinations come back clear and Atlanta sees some adjustments that Bieber could make, then they should be all over making a play for him. However, if the medicals are more iffy and there isn't a clear solution to Bieber's woes, they probably need to pass.

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